The Solution to MAZE: Main Puzzle

The following is the solution to the main puzzle of Christopher Manson’s “MAZE: Solve the World’s Most Challenging Puzzle.”

This is not a solution to the book on a whole. Only some of MAZE is presently solved. This forum is for fans of the Manson’s MAZE to discuss solutions to the puzzles that have gone unsolved and to talk about how much the book creeped us out when we were ten.

On to the main solution…

The main puzzle of MAZE has three parts:

Part I = The 16 Step Path >

Part II – The Riddle of Room 45 >

Part III – The Riddle of the Path >

 View Official Rules, Hints & Solution >

19 thoughts on “The Solution to MAZE: Main Puzzle

  1. Here is my final solution to MAZE as condensed as I can get it-you will have to research the rest on the net for more details:

    EYE = the 30 foot wide open OCULUS at the top of the DOME of the Roman Pantheon.
    LANTERNS = the openings around the top of the DOME of the Paris Pantheon.
    BIRD = Christopher Wren, the architect of the DOME of London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
    These are the 3’s (tri) we have been clued to find:

    1. ROMAN PANTHEON …
    Hadrian the final architect of the DOME and a nasty fellow. When you approach the Rome Pantheon there is an obelisk in the plaza area in front of the building. You walk under the portico with its outdoor roof that is supported by “16” columns. Enter thru the large bronze double doors into the rotunda. Look at the picture for the Prologue. Here is what you see: there are only two light sources for the Pantheon-light coming in from the front door and light coming in from the open OCULUS at the top of the dome (it’s just beautiful). You will also see this demonstrated in Room 1. Before you enter the building you are on the portico…when it rains, the rain comes pouring down through the OCULUS (actual drains are in the floor). The visitors step outside onto the portico that is affectionately called “the UMBRELLA”. We see the “UMBRELLA” at the door in the picture for the Prologue. Inside around the DOME the windows do not have glass/PANES-they are covered up. The area around the OCULUS is called the CROWN. The sun beams down through the OCULUS lighting the interior and causing a round bright sun spot to rotate as a “reversed sun dial” around the inside of the DOME. The Narrative of the Prologue: “my crown, my pain, the fire in my EYE(s)” now makes metaphorical sense. Hadrian was also a poet: especially interesting to us is his dying poem that begins with “ANIMULA” (“we are all part animal” see Room 32). Hadrian was tall and vain (“hard to see over his shoulder”). He had his hair done every day-Room 22 is a “salon” Rapunsal/hair. Hadrian helped to defeat the JEWs also in Room 22. We are dealing with 3 DOMES here, hence the Cerberus clue. “The monstrous walls rise up and run away”, is of course Hadrian’s walls-horizontal wall of separation from the Barbarians and his vertical walls “rise up and run away as far as the human EYE/OCULUS can see (prologue metaphor). “Construction never stops” the Roman Pantheon has been rebuilt several times and sits on marsh land (shaky-Shake-spear/Elvis’ leg-too much fun here-Elvis has left the building, that would be the AstroDOME). Before Hadrian the Roman Pantheon was called “The Santa Maria Church” see Room 2. Raphael said this building was built by the angels-he requested and is entombed here:”Bones and Ashes of the Great Raphael” is his inscription see Room 31. The DOME was built of non reinforced concrete with pieces of pottery inserted into the cement see Room 17. It is well noted that it is very, very quiet/silent in the Roman Pantheon and there are two bell towers.

    2. PARIS PANTHEON…
    The top area over the Paris Pantheon is surrounded by vertical open OCULUS’-the area is called the Lantern unlike the open top OCULUS of the Roman Pantheon. FOUCAULT first demonstrated that the Earth spins around its axis by setting up his pendulum in the Paris Pantheon. He suspended the large ball from the ceiling (see internet pics) Room 33. Room 14 represents VOLTAIRE. His full standing statue is prominent in the Paris Pantheon and stands in front of his sarcophagus upon which sits a large round ball. Like Confucius, he is known for his aphorisms. He is remembered and honored in France as a courageous polemicist who tenaciously fought for civil rights. Room 29 represents Louis Braille who is also entombed in the Paris Pantheon.

    3. London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral…
    The architect here is Christopher “WREN”. The floor in the Cathedral is a stone checkerboard. The DOME of the Cathedral is a “triple” construction DOME so that the DOME you see inside is not the DOME on the outside and there is a support DOME in between. It is lit by windows in groups of 3’s surrounding the top of the DOME. Christopher WREN is buried beneath the floor/no sarcophagus for him, however, in floor directly under the middle of the dome there is a large black marble circle/spot with partial inscription “Reader, if you are seeking his memorial-look around you”…see Room 15 black spot on floor under tripod. There is a window in the wall located over the floor burial site that is square paned and allows light to filter onto his burial place, again see Room 15 ceiling. WREN was an Astronomer and is thought to have attended Dr. Busby’s school where Poe (William Wilson & Doppelganger) attended.

    NOTE: I have found the answer to “Like Atlas, He bears it upon his shoulder”. The DOME of the Roman Pantheon is a full half circle-if you connect another exact DOME to this one at its equatorial line, you have a full round geometric circle that touches the top of the inside dome and the floor under the dome. It is called the “HEAVENLY SPHERE”.

    NOTE: The large bronze “Atlas” is located directly across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.

    NOTE: Pantheon means “A temple to all gods”/”All the Gods”/”Every God” depending on the Latin or Greek interpretation. There are 7 Apse around the rotunda that were dedicated to the Gods (I suspect we may have rooms relating to this). “MAGRIPPA L F COS TERTIVM FECIT” is inscribed on the front triangular pediment and just reminds me of “Magpies” which is maybe why the fish on the front cover of MAZE is blocking any writing underneath. Christopher Wren/the wrench & bird, etc etc.

    NOTE:
    Oh, and Dave, you were right on the concept with a teepee with a hole in the top-bet no one ever called the Roman Pantheon a “teepee”! lol. Well I may be nuts but I think the big concept is all here.

    NOTE: I will post the following in each individual room but kept these together to make my case for the above solution.

    Room 1
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    This is an introductory tease to the Roman Pantheon Oculus (EYE) letting in a circular beam of sunlight that moves around the dome.

    Room 2.
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    The name of the Roman Pantheon before Hadrian was the “Santa Maria Church”.

    Room 14
    re: see Solution to Maze posting:
    -Electric wire & plug/string & paperclip (Franklin kite & key experiment) = VOLT.
    Eagle claw + eagle’s nest = AIRE. Stature of VOLTAIRE in Paris Pantheon in front of his sarcophagus that has a large round ball on top in the middle.

    Room 15
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    -Dark round spot on floor under tripod = round black marble insert on the center floor under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral London-Inscription ends with: “Reader, if you are seeking his memorial-look around you.” Referring to Christopher Wren, the architect of St Paul’s. The ceiling in the room with light pouring in is the window located in the crypt on the wall pouring light onto Wren’s burial slab.

    Room 17
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    -Pieces of pottery jars were used to mix into the dome structure unreinforced cement construction for a lighter weight dome-The dome with Oculus of the ancient Roman Pantheon.

    Room 22
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    Hadrian has his hair done every day. He was tall and vain (hard to see over his shoulder Room 23). Hadrian’s hair/Rapunsal’s hair-this room is a salon.

    Room 29
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    As I previously posted here, the blind man is Louis Braille who is entombed in the Paris Pantheon.

    Room 31
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    The “tomb” here belongs to “Raphael” in the Roman Pantheon. Inscription reads: BONES AND ASHES of the Great Raphael.”

    Room 32
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    Narrative:”in a very real way we are all of US ANIMALS” metaphor to Hadrian’s Farewell to Life poem: “ANIMULA Vagula Blandula”

    Room 33
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    As I previously stated here, this room is about Foucault’s Pendulum that was first demonstrated in the Paris Pantheon suspended from the ceiling.

    Room 34
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting
    Note the “EYE” on the ship and the ‘OBELISK” in picture. OBELISK is located right outside the front portico in the plaza in front of the Roman Pantheon.

    Room 41
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    The floor of St. Paul’s Cathedral is a beautiful large checkered floor.

    Room 45
    re: see Solution to MAZE posting:
    We have here a “SHOEMAKER’ s awl with a shoe and a horseshoe present along with the name WILLIAM…= WILLIE SHOEMAKER the world famous racing jockey…the jockey/horse ultimate goal is to win the “Triple Crown” a metaphor for 1. Roman Pantheon-DOME. 2. Paris Pantheon-DOME. 3. St Paul’s Cathedral-DOME.

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    • I’m reminded of the fact that one can spell Christopher using the letters from atrophied branches in room 5. Well ok they are more truncated than atrophied. I still thought that was pretty cool.

      I don’t think you are on to something there. Sorry. But it would not be productive if I didn’t comment at all.

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  2. I EXAMINED THE ROOM PATH FROM 45 TO 1:
    I totally got something different for the message of the maze from 45 to 1. I list the locations where we differ.
    45) M a ‘w’ when upside down, U 23) Blank 8) S 12) U, D, C at top of ladder 39) R, O 4) E 15) C at the moon, E the shadow on the wall above and between 30-37. 37)O-the shadow of the net, C the side of table and legs 20) S, S
    There is a question mark in 45 and if I have to make something of the shadows in 23, it would be an !
    Arranging the letters, it reads thus; “SUCCESS! DO U C MORE?”

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    • Text speak was not a thing then and we know the real answer. It’s almost certainly not intentionally placed. However, it’s clever enough to keep a record of it. Imo

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  3. Revising my page regarding the letters of “Shoulders”. I think he gives the letters one of two ways. He gives then super obvious once, or he gives them in hidden way twice. H in 37 and in 15. E in 37 and in 8. O in 39 and 23. L in 4 but maybe ? All other given once directly. He seems well aware that the more something is hidden the more times it needs to be given to show it is real.

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  4. Proposal regarding the letters to spell “Shoulders”. I believe that the letters are given 1 of 2 ways: Theye are either simply given is a very unambigous obvious way, OR they are hidden but then given twice.

    The tire in 39 vs. the “nothing” in 23 has bee a dispute for some time. Suppose they are both intended.

    “H20″ in my opinion is the only way in room 37 to resolve the multiple conflicting indicators. But that means there is a VERY intentional “H” here. But then in 15, the H’s are puzzle parts as well. They are intentional too. The H is given twice so that one confirms the other.

    In 37 I am sure the ending E’s are intended, but then we also have that table in room 8 looking like an E. Again, I think this letter is given in a concealed way, but given twice.

    Manson seems quite aware that the more hidden something is the more times he has to give it to prove it is a real thing.

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    • David Gentile,

      Finally someone made the Room 8 and the Riddle of the Path “E” connection! I have never been comfortable with “E” being in Room 37 when such an obvious “E” is available in Room 8.

      This means room 8 has two letters and Room 37 none. Perhaps one of the purposes of the “EXTRA S” in Room 20 is to indicate that some of the letters can be found in multiple ways?

      White Raven

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  5. Thanks to both of you. I pretty much just put the book down and forgot about it back in 2012. And I only picked it up again this week while doing some other website work. And I’m a lot more satisfied with some parts of what is on my page than other parts too.

    One note about the “Manson”s. My thought was not that he placed them their to be found as part of a solution. But rather he just made sure the text always included two words that worked. The fact that 24 was the only place I could NOT find one at all made me even more suspicious. But as I said , other than the best 3 I think I removed them. I suspect room 3 is the authentic author “signature” however. And room 4 could be a Manson with no Christopher. Some of the Christopher’s still remaining could be wrong too. But the best are to point to St, Christopher I think. The best are the ones that almost fall out of anagrams of Christopher like Short Perch I.

    But that’s history. Now I’m looking forward to seeing what ravens book has to say and taking a fresh look at the puzzle.

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  6. White Raven writes:
    “Like Atlas, you (the reader) bear the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

    I agree. As you may remember from past discussions, I thought there were many examples of “Christopher Manson” hidden in the maze, but he infomed me that was not the case.
    “…while I dislike to go into much detail about what is or isn’t there, I do want to say that I have really only put my name in once on purpose, and besides a couple of references (nun, pair-o’-dice) used for their word value, I did not intend to incorporate any particularly Christian ideas, messages or doctrines. My first name is entirely coincidental to the book, and was not my doing in the first place.
    I hesitate to say anything about the book usually…”
    And other that at most 3 “Manson”s, I feel I simply invented them. But most of the “Christopher”s I still feel are there. But they are not there to point to the author. Rather to St. Christopher. In the story where he bears Christ across the river, Jesus is impossibly heavy, and we learn that this is becasue he bears the weight of the world on his shoulders. So the “Christopher”s are there, I belive, to point to St. Christopher, and then to the overall Maze solution.

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    • Wow, I had my doubts as to whether this was the real David Gentie, but then I noticed that his page now has a link to this site…
      http://www.davegentile.com/stuff/maze.html
      …which wasn’t there in 2012.
      http://web.archive.org/web/20120730224731/http://www.davegentile.com/stuff/maze.html

      So I think this is the real deal. My goodness. Hi, Mr. Gentile! I’m sure White Raven or someone else would like to extend a formal welcome, but let me just try to sneak an apology in there. You’ve probably already seen us, to be blunt, make fun of some of your maze-solving habits in a few pages on this site. I shared in that, and would like to say I’m sorry. It’s easy to be snide when you don’t think the person taking the jab is actually going to see what you’re saying.

      Really, though, I don’t think there’s anyone here who doesn’t respect the sheer diligence it took for you to put together such a detailed analysis. And we’re pretty much all in love with your solution to room #26, as you’ve probably seen. (Also, I think your solution to room #45 is vastly more elegant and persuasive than White Raven’s Woodrow Wilson interpretation, but don’t… don’t tell anyone I said that)

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    • Beelzebibble,

      Don’t worry I will store it in my subconscious for fodder in later therapy. :}

      I have been emailing Mr. Gentile but you are correct, a formal public welcome is called for – I will post one on the main page. Thanks!

      The “will” phrasing of the riddle was discovered by Scott Purdy in 1986 and has been assumed correct almost universally since then.

      While my best guess is that the Woodrow Wilson phrasing is correct but I am not certain and I personally like Scott’s “will” phrasing more from an aesthetics point of view. Though aesthetically my first choice would be ”All inhabit what evil house?” which we know to be wrong…damn it.

      The question is if the Woodrow Wilson quote ”Without God, the world would be a maze without a clue” is part of the puzzle (also discovered by Scott). If it is than “All Live In What Woodrow Wilson House?” is a better phrasing pointing us to the quote, if not then “All Live In What House?” is a better phrasing. I would not at all be surprised if Scott’s original phrasing proved correct and the quote from Woodrow Wilson is just a coincidence.

      White Raven

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    • Opps, I left out the “will.” “Will all live in what house?” is actually what I meant. Thanks!

      It should be noted that this is my rephrasing of Scott’s original phrasing “What house will all live in?” I changed it to reflect the order of items in the room and somewhat better grammar.

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