Room 10

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…a room that smelled of paint. Faint voices, apparently in an argument, came from behind the locked door.

“You know,” said one, “that sounds like us in there…”

They tried the door but, naturally, it wouldn’t open. The voices stopped when the doorknob rattled.

One picked up the umbrella. “It may rain where we’re going.”

I signaled my approval and, after a short rest, we came to…

 - Images and text copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson
used with permission. [Purchase MAZE from Amazon]


Room Type:  LOOP    Doors:  14  34  37  41


● The baton and the umbrella point to door 41, the correct door. [Independent Credit: vewatkin | White Raven] The four posts of the bed + the line of the umbrella = 41 reinforces the umbrella solution above. [Independent Credit: David Gentile | White Raven] The baton pointing at door 41 may be reinforced by a trail of pointers, namely the ballerina points to the dancer with the baton, the dancer’s baton points to the luggage strap, the luggage strap points to the nearest bedpost, the bedpost points to the baton which points to door 41. [Credit: Vewatkin, See related images]

● The smell of paint, ladder, paint, and paint brush pointing at the sign for door 41 all indicate that the sign has been newly painted. The umbrella points to door 41 and would aid a person passing through the door to avoid being dripped upon by wet paint. This is reinforced by a visitor picking up the umbrella and saying “It may rain where we are going” to which the Guide signals his approval. [Independent Credit: David G | White Raven]

● The correct doorway, 41, has one door open and one door closed, the three incorrect doorways are symmetrical, either both open or both closed. Various aspects of the room seem purposely asymmetrical suggesting that 41 is the correct choice. [Independent Credit: Vewatkin / Mazecast | White Raven] [This solution is incomplete]

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112 thoughts on “Room 10

  1. There is a trefoil on the bed with three folds. If we think of those half doors as folded when they are open and take the 3rd fold we get the right door.

  2. My apologies to whomever said it first; I don’t recall and it doesn’t seem to be stated here. But nodding is “signaling approval” and nodding off is “taking a short rest.” (To paraphrase.) When the Guide says he is signaling his approval, he seems to be awkwardly avoiding saying he nodded, and the short rest really comes out of left field, so it’s seems like there’s something going on with the word “nod” here. Any ideas?

    (Genesis 4:14 [41/14, get it?] deals with Cain’s banishment to the land of Nod, but so do a lot of the surrounding verses, and the word “Nod” isn’t mentioned until 4:16, so DON’T EVEN TRY IT.)

    Conspiracy theorists, though, may do something with the fact that there’s the Garden of Eden in 30, the entryway to Eden in 34 closed off and marked NO, and then Nod in Room 10 (East of Eden).

    • I don’t think he is avoiding “nod” – I think “signaled my approval” is part of the false “umbrella is the guide” set of clues. If he says “nod” then he can’t mean the umbrella is the guild. As written it can mean that. The “short rest” as you may or may not recall is something I associated with other musical clues in this room to come up with “measure” as the word value for this room as a whole – which is then used to translate the wall in 40. The circle with the line through it is “10″ and it means “measure”. The rest of the clues to get to measure are on my page for room 10.


      If this room is meant to falsely suggest the umbrella is the Guide


    • I’m not sure if picking up the umbrella makes it more or less guide-like – or has no effect. It suggests the umbrella/guide comes with them is about all I get from it.

    • Also, umbrellas can’t talk, can’t be looked in the eye, don’t have eyes (with fire in them or otherwise), don’t have shoulders that might be hard to see over, don’t have feet that could crush glass on the floor, can’t empty pebbles from their shoes, can’t pick up and ring bells, don’t have parents, don’t have childhoods, and if this umbrella has all those attributes it’s odd that it needs to be carried from room to room, and it’s odder that it refers to itself in the third person as “the umbrella.”

      But sillier than any of that, I guess, is just the idea that the guide would be an umbrella.

      If Manson was trying to falsely suggest the Guide was the umbrella, he left no clues indicating the Guide is an umbrella, and a dozen indications that the Guide couldn’t be an umbrella, so it was an unusual example of trying. (I know I know, you can probably take the letters in “umbrella” and add in Edgar Allen Poe’s dog’s name and ROT13 it and drop half the letters and read the remaining ones with a Tibetan accent and then turn it backwards and it says “I led walks” or something.)

    • The first and most basic false clue is that the guide waited for them outside the gate, while he normally waited inside the gate. The title page shows exactly one thing outside the gate – the umbrella. There is no random scatter of objects, just the one thing. This strongly suggests a guide/umbrella connection. (And then the cover shows a red herring and no umbrella – to help us know this is a false clue). Then there are hints the umbrella comes along for the trip – and sometimes like in 10 it points the way. Also rather guide-like. And yes, of course there are many good reasons for thinking the umbrella is NOT the guide, if there were not, then I would argue the umbrella really was the guide, rather than arguing it was a red herring. But even as a red herring I’m not saying the umbrella is *literally* the guide – like it is a Disney animated broom or something – rather it is a token or symbol of the guide – something we are supposed to connect with the guide. And as I’ve pointed out the “it might rain” theme is also connected to the umbrella throughout (except maybe the sun umbrella on the picture in 8). And you can anagram “rain umbrella” to “I rare bull man” and the minotaur certainly IS a well hinted at guide and is certainly a red herring (unless you think he’s the real guide).

    • The umbrella being associated with the guide is different from the umbrella being the guide, though, and nodding is only a problem if he is literally an umbrella.

      Of course, I don’t know how an umbrella signals its approval without nodding either…

      ANYWAY, that sure took this way off that track, that nod thing is serious, what’s going on there?

  3. I really like the wet paint/umbrella solution, but I can’t really get it to fly. The ladder is set up like someone is going to paint the blank sign, not really like someone just painted the sign to 41. The smell of paint doesn’t really suggest something has been freshly painted when we already see an open and overflowing can of paint in the room, and the paintbrush pointing at it doesn’t really have anything to do with it being recently painted.

    I suspect there’s a more common significance to rain that we’re missing, “common” in the sense that it applies to all the rooms where the possibility of rain is mentioned.

    • Really, if that line of thought were appealing, it seems like you could Occam’s razor the pointing paint brush out and just say, “The umbrella is pointing to 41, which indicates that’s where it’s going to be raining.” That seems as sensible as saying, “The paint brush points to the sign, which indicates that it has recently been painted, which means one should take the umbrella to protect against drips,” but with a step removed.

  4. Maybe not clearly noted. You can count 4 parts to the hat box or see 4 straps. But the gals of pod cast 4 noted that the straps and the box edge can actually make a “4″.

  5. Interesting, but hard to put together in a convincing way, when looking at the 3/1 indicators in the room, is that the correct door is the current room number plus 31.

  6. there is a definite triangle theme going on here:

    * the triangular fold in the bed sheets
    * the volcano
    * the triangle shaped string holding up the volcano picture
    * the ladder
    * the triangles hidden in the dancers legs
    * the bumbershoot’s stem
    * the triangular shaped light coming out 14

    specifically, the triangles have their tops pointed out in a few places:

    * the top of the volcano is erupting
    * the top of the ladder has the paint and brushes (which are also triangular)

    things in the room that are not triangular point to wrong doors:

    * the archway beyond 34 is round
    * the square and round cases lit up by 14
    * you can see all 4 of the panels on door 14
    * you can only see 3 panels on door 41 (both doors, at that)

  7. The volcano is 4 blobs split 1 3. That could clue any door. But….it starts with “V” it hangs on a V shaped cord. There are voice behind closed door. The paint brushes are a 4th V and pointing at 41.

    • Bed sheets are another set of Vs. Point to post that points at volcano.

  8. The bed can be 4 posts and 4 fold areas. 1 umbrella on in pointing at correct door. So 4,1 pointing at 4,1

    • David Gentile,

      Correct! Four post bed + line of umbrella pointing to 41 = 41.

      White Raven

  9. Once you have the above – the suitcase points to the plant foot door – a 1 and the harbor 4 sections give a 4.

  10. The door knobs are mentioned in text. For door 41 we see left one from its perspective. Top hat is planted on left foot. Maybe this door will not open. Also baton connects top hat to 41. 14 then goes with ballerina and her backwards 4. If the plant foot is a 1 then right now she matches neither door. But she will match 41 when spin completes.

  11. The ballerina is spinning. So her legs will show a forward 4 again soon. There is also something going on here with 14 and 41 being near mirror images. If you spin a 4 around they are mirror images.

  12. The baton brush and bumpershoot point at what would be door b in room 1 and they and other things here start with B.

    The umbrella is the fake guide. The baton the real guide’s.

    Let’s go obvious and say that 41 has just been painted. So it is a fresh choice of something??

    • Both top hat and ballerina make leg 4s. Top hat is not reversed. Since they point left and right take left of pair

    • david gentile,

      Congratulations on the paint drips! Moving up the solve meter!

      White Raven

  13. Regarding targets/eyes surrounding 10. I’m wondering if that is supposed to draw attention to the round package here. That is the astronomical symbol for “earth” and the answer to the main riddle so it might be worth attention.

  14. Disconcerting that I have used all the object in the room at least once in valid solutions I’m my opinion and Ravens counter is still on zero. Seems objects can be used in more ways than one as if we did not already know that….

    • Well, you know that Raven doesn’t see eye-to-eye with you on your tangential solutions, just as most of us don’t see eye-to-eye with Raven on a lot of the “simpler” (for lack of a better term) solutions. The recent burst of solutions in 34, for instance, left us with some seriously raised eyebrows. (A crescent moon is a zero? A series of concentric squares is a zero? The ship is–well, this isn’t the comment section for Room 34.)

      I don’t know whether you and Raven see eye-to-eye on that stuff, but you at least seem to be on his wavelength with coming up with them; you have about a thousand puzzle points from those sorts of observations. Taking the sort of approach that makes the couch in 34 a symbol for “10″ in some of these completely unsolved rooms could likely yield you a lot of stars.

    • OK – personally – I’m not sure about the monument and moon, because described that way they both start with “M” and I would have drawn a full moon. To me it suggests maybe a fake 10 so that you stop looking at it for awhile and miss something else. But all II can do with it is spell “I’m” and maybe with the next room “I’m Raven” but that is not compelling either. The pillow I’m fine with actually, just a square zero. The NO I like more, however. Just put a thumb over part and you have 10. But yes, I have tuned in on two classes of solutions that Raven has that I don’t.

  15. Room 10, WR says is a letter-object room, presumably B, with bumbershoot, bed, briefcase (I guess), (hat)box, baton, and ballerina. Maybe some other stuff.

    Baton and bumbershoot point to the door.

    The door to 41 is half-open (the left side open, the right side close) which is similar to the hatbox, which is sealed by one strap and has one broken strap; interestingly, the door beside 41 (unmarked, to 37) is completely shut, much like the case next to the hatbox is completely sealed.

    We have a “step” ladder – meant to be connected to the dancers’ steps? Ugh, feel pretty corny on that one, but the baton on the ladder matches the tap dancer and the paintbrushes sticking up in the air may mimic the arms of the ballerina. (If the spilled paint is meant to suggest a tutu, Manson could have done a clearer job.) If the ballerina were moved to the position of the brushes, her bent knee would point to 41, and if the tapdancer were moved to where the baton is–and positioned according to where the baton is face–his knee would point to the door too. Which essentially just says that his knee is pointing the same direction as the baton.

    • Hmm, text mentions the paint, brush in paint can points to 41. Text mentions umbrella, umbrella points to 41. Text mentions short rest…

      Anyway that bed is suggestive of 41? It unfortunately seems more connected to 34. I mean, the place on the bed where the pillow is moved the mattress looks sort of depressed, if you sat there you’d be facing 41…

      The line of the briefcase does catch the tip of 41…

      The volcano and stepladder almost seem like a pair; three points off to the right, one to the left (the rear of the baton), the overflowing paint like lava–but what good does that do? Just associate the volcano with something that clearly points to 41?

    • There’s an interesting chain of pointers here too. The ballerina points downward to the Tophat; Tophat’s (illustrated) baton points to the hatbox; the loose strap on the hatbox points to the bed and/or the umbrella; the umbrella points to 41, the bed I’m not sure about yet.

      And by the way, what’s the deal with the three weird folds on the bed? Are those two sheets underneath a comforter, or what? They form another pyramidal shape, like the volcano and the stepladder, and they seem to point to the unmarked door. The only pointer coming off of that, though, is the umbrella.

      The bed is in front of 34, it has that three-leaf-clover-looking thing on it, its bedposts in relation to 34 are one on the left, three on the right, just like the balls of whatever shooting off of the volcano. What does it all mean?

      Oh, hey, look, there is one bed post right under the umbrella, one right under the stepladder, and one right under the volcano. The fourth one, I don’t know, but that’s like another 1/3 pattern, established by the volcano.

      Uh, I think that involves everything pointing at 41 or being a structurally related to something pointing at 41, although it’s still not clear how the volcano helps as a door indicator, other than sort of pointing at 41 (but pretty much the entire right side of the room).

    • So I noticed this series of “pointers” the other day and was surprised that it wasn’t part of the “official” solution for this room, and see that vw did actually point it out here:
      Top hat dancer has a baton just like the one on the stepladder.
      His baton points to the hatbox.
      The broken strap on the hatbox points to the bedpost.
      The bedpost points to the real baton, which is pointing at the correct door.

      I know we have a lot of stuff pointing at stuff everywhere, so it’s hard to tell what’s meaningful, but this chain does seem to reinforce that the baton is to be trusted.

      (I can see that you’ve observed the cloverleaf on the bed here, too, vw!)

    • Vewatkin and Aria,

      I am not sold on the trail of pointers but I see the trail and admit that it really could be intentional. Since both of you found the same trail, and since I am stuck on the fence about it, I am posting it as a solution (credit to vewatkin) and created an image to help others see the trail.

      White Raven

    • What really clinches it for me is the matching batons at the start and finish of the trail. Thanks for posting a visual of the trail, WR. That’s fun!

  16. The volcano gives off four sparks, three to the right, on to the left. There are three doors to the right, one to the left.

    The hatbox is bound by a ribbon around the edge in three places–around the fourth, the ribbon is broken.

    14 and 41 demonstrate a bit of symmetry, as do the dancers there besides 14 (loosely).

    “It may rain where we’re going.” Water isn’t the only thing that rains down–think of the volcanic ash.

    • I think the volcano is intentional but it seems rather unuseful. Box with one rip Ill add as support to my argument. Credited of course. Volcano reduces my room satisfaction slightly. Things should fit usefully.

    • Reading this, it occurred to me that the picture could actually be a disaster for D, and then ash for A. DA = 41. I dunno know, just sort of spitballing.

  17. Room 10 is updated on my page.
    Here is what is new, with enough context to understand it.

    A lot of things in the room begin with “B”. We have a “bed”, a “box”, “baggage”, maybe a “baton” for a stirrer, a “ballerina”, maybe a “boom”, and a “bumbershoot”. In room 23 they realized it could rain where they were going and one of the guests says that they should have brought that “bumbershoot”, and here again in this room we have a reference to the fact that it can rain where they are going, clueing us to think of this umbrella as a “bumbershoot”.

    Why all the “B”s? Well, if we look at room #1, we can see that the doors are arraigned in a similar way and labeled “A”,”B”,”C”, and “D”, by the objects on the doors. The door in position “B” is the door to 41, both here and in room #1. And, indeed, 41 is the correct exit from this room.

    Daughter Emily notes “empty” and “blank” fit well here, given empty faces, etc… and this is helpful with the realization the faceless figures are souls, just like the stickman in 3.
    The umbrella “rests” on the bed and we have “rest” in the text. There is something to “stir” the paint, and a “restless” volcano “stirs” to life. OK so we have rest/stir.
    The faceless dancers are “souls” as in room 3. Soul => music => dance. That is “music” is a middle term between “soul” and “dance”.
    OK so rest/stop and music…a rest in music of course! The text says a “short rest”, that is for example ¼. Yeah! And those packages: one is divided into 4 parts 1 suitcase and 4 divisions! (Or is that 4 and 1?) Never mind we are off to room 14, and…oops we double back to here. What went wrong?
    We didn’t take all the doors into account. 3/4 can be a music signature, and that would tie to door 34. Wait…3/4 is 3 beats per measure, 4 doors, one closed, 3 doors per room here. Ah. Again the doors are labeled A,B,C,D as in room 1. And text says “AFTER A SHORT REST” we MOVED ON” to…the next beat in the measure of course. That would be door “B” 41. “Measure” is also the word we should get from this room for the puzzle I believe to be the riddle of the guide. So far I have: “Shakespeare poem: I measure man…”
    Oh yeah and that paint stirrer – it’s a drum stick. Need percussion for keeping the beat ya know. Also anchorperson Smith notes the paint brush sticks look like the drum on the door to room 20 in room one.

  18. The brushes sticking out of the paint can is reminiscent of the drums on the door to 20 in room one.

  19. The two less attractive rooms that come off of here both contain targets. You are also permitted to turn back to room 10 in each.

    • 34 is not really a target. But there is enough to make you wonder. Why might 10 be the center of a target ?

    • Well, that pillow ain’t a zero either, but let’s just be cool and play along.

  20. The unpainted door presumably “goes” to room 37, where the inhabitants experience a time loop. The events in the text for room 10 happen concurrent with the events in room 37 (which has a door to room 10).

    I’m not saying that any kind of new solution presents itself if there’s a door from room 10 to room 37, but it’s clear that the time loop is on purpose.

  21. #41 is the best exit here in order to get out of the loop and back onto the path (since room #41 links to #1). The fact that the umbrella — “It may rain where we’re going” — points toward door #41 is therefore a possible clue to choose that door as “where we’re going”.

    • That seems right to me, as well. The dancer’s baton atop the ladder also points to 41. One of the two (why two?) paint brushes also point to the 41 sign.
      Other thoughts:
      1. I wonder if when the sign gets painted, does the door automatically unlock?
      2. The partially unwrapped hat-box is tantalizing- especially given that this page is the only instance of the dancer with all his gear.
      3. Here they take the umbrella with them, but later, I seem to remember them being without an umbrella. Am I mixed up or is time?
      4. Both dancers legs look fourish to me.
      5. Four embers coming off that volcanic eruption.

  22. Abyssians,

    I just finished watching an excellent made for TV miniseries called “The Lost Room” which was probably on some level inspired by MAZE and this room in particular. The centerpiece of this modern day paranormal story, is a hotel room (with a bed and eerie light streaming in) that is dimensionally displaced. The number of the hotel room is 10.

    - White Raven

    • I saw this show based on your recommendation, quite liked it, the ending could have been better (I won’t spoil it) — seemed a bit too cut and dry.

    • I agree, the ending was a bit of a dud, the living object kind of spoiled the air of mystery. I think they were setting it up to be a TV show but they gave away too much.

    • Well, I hope they do. That show had a lot of promise. I kept noticing all the stuff that could yet be taken out of the room. The powers of the objects all made some sort of sense but the sleepy-time knife. I still think about the knife every once in awhile looking for the connection. Should probably just let it go.


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