Room 13

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…room number 13.

They weren’t really comfortable here and I knew why.

“No, no,” they said. “We’re not all superstitious.”

“Only some of you, then?”

They were worried it might be Friday. Well it’s true that it was closer to the end of the week than they realized. It takes a great deal of experience, certainly more than they possessed, to understand how time works in the Maze. The clock thought it was six in the evening.

Quickly moving on we came to…

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


Room Type:  LOOP     Doors:  18  25  27


● The progression of time on the sign on the left helps to draw attention to the importance of periods of time, such as the hour and day, and frames the solution listing these increments. The middle paragraph of the text reads, “They were worried it might be Friday. Well it’s true that is was closer to the end of the week than they realized.” Only Saturday is closer to the end of the week as Sunday is the first day of the week. [Note: a universal assumption in 1985 America.] Saturday = 7. The text continues, “It takes a great deal of experience, certainly more than they possessed, to understand how time works in the Maze. The clock thought it was six in the evening.” Six in the evening = 18 military time. Of the increments of time listed on the left the only ones we know are Saturday and 6 PM. 7+18=25 the number of the correct door.  [Independent Credit: David G | White Raven] [Note: This solution is incomplete]

● In the illustration are pyramid shapes with four balls on the bottom and one on top. In the text, the two lines of dialogue read,  ”No, no,” they said. “We’re not all superstitious.” “Only some of you, then?” The phrase “No, no…” is a reference to the two incorrect doors, the rest of the dialogue is to assist in interpreting the pyramids to find the correct door…you are looking for part of a whole. The one ball on top and four below is meant to suggest 25% or.25, the number of the correct door. [Credit: Kon-Tiki]

● The folding supports for directors chair make two Xs (though only one is clearly visible) the megaphone is a V shape. XXV = 25. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven]

● The sunlight streaming down on the sundial illuminates two of the hour segments on the far side of the noon divider and five on the near side. 2 & 5 = 25 The object being a sundial reinforces that conclusion that we look for sunlight. [Credit: Aria]

● The cord for the lamp makes a long stretched out 2. The bracket for the light makes a “V” (5) Roman numeral. 2 & 5 = 25. [The "V" could alternately be found in the lamp legs.] [Credit: White Raven]

● The director’s chair, megaphone, lamp, and sundial together suggest a sequence of events: 1. The director uses the megaphone to call out “Lights! Action!” or the more common “Lights! Camera! Action!” [Independent Credit: SP | Kon-Tiki | White Raven] 2. The light is turned on. 3. The gnomon (fin) of the sundial casts a shadow which looks like an arrow pointing at door 25. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven] The lines of the sundial outline the shape of the shadow-arrow. [Credit: SP] The word “action” suggests we take action and follow the arrow. [Independent Credit: SP | White Raven] The director’s chair reinforces this solution by suggesting that the riddle provides “direction” (the arrow). [Credit: Dave G] The sunlight from above which casts a clear shadow suggests that the solution is shadow related [Credit: Kon-Tiki], as well as the fact that the object which cast the arrow-shadow is a sundial (which functions via shadow) [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven]. The shadow of the cord and tripod of the lamp may also produce an arrow. [Credit: SP]

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216 thoughts on “Room 13

  1. The next time period in the list is “second”
    In the sequence of doors 18, 25, 27, the second number is 25

    Make sense?

    • Yes. David Gentile posted this suggestion here seven years ago, and I commend you for not having read back that far to find it.

  2. The word “second” is missing from the list, which is the ordinal form of the number 2. The second “N” is missing from the word “millennium”, which is the seventh letter in the word. This 2 and 7 indicate the door to room 27. The clock thinks that it’s six o’clock in the evening, which is 18 military time, indicating the door to room 18. As in several other rooms, the unindicated door to room 25 is the correct one.

    • I think this is a likely solution because the word “second” and the “seventh” letter are both missing from the same board, and they both indicate the ordinal form of a number, implying that those numbers should be used together. Also, Manson has confirmed that the missing “N” is not a typo and this solution fits with his implication that odd-one-in solutions are more prevalent. Thanks to the community and credit to the people who originally brought up some aspects of this solution (like the clock indicating 18).

    • Something it didn’t occur to me until now to do, but I googled “millenium” to see whether it had any history (as an archaic spelling, alternate spelling, famous misspelling, etc.)

      Many articles pop up about how commonly “millennium” is misspelled as “millenium.” Google shows some intermittent periods as far back as 1530 or so when (based on very little data) “millenium” was more common than “millennium.” The misspelling became so ubiquitous that Microsoft Word ’97 recognized both spellings of the word. (This was changed in subsequent versions.)

      In a vacuum, “millenium” looks like it is probably just a spelling error.

      Manson said in response to one of the Ask Manson questions that it was not a spelling error, but that doesn’t necessarily imply it’s a puzzle element. He may have, for instance, copied the spelling from a specific source that also misspelled it, and not considered that an error. He may be of the mind, as others have been, that it was an accepted alternate spelling. He may have just been embarrassed.

  3. Okay, so…
    The time periods sign has two openings, one on the bottom, one on the top.
    In the opening on the top, it is filled in with a dot.
    The one on the bottom? Missing a dot.

    A period?

    • …or maybe not, but there’s a missing gap on the bottom. And a missing time period on the bottom

    • The time periods panel on the wall. At the top, below the hourglass, there’s a little indent with a circle in it, but the identical bottom indent is empty. It’s easier to see with the book.

    • Oh, holy cow! No, that’s easy enough to see here, I just didn’t know what you were talking about.

    • Looking at my copy more closely, I’m not sure the bottom ornamentation is supposed to be different from the top. It’s hard to tell, because it’s significantly shaded and the bottom and brightly illuminated on the top.

      Still, I find this to be an interesting detail. I thought it was a little cheeky to suggest that these units of time were “periods” and then connect them to the missing period in 27–worth considering, but, I dunno. Maybe these ornamental dots move the needle a bit, though! It’s certainly an interesting coincidence if it’s unrelated.

    • You’re right on that I guess it might not be… but like: there’s no sense of outwards depth in there. It looks a lot like a depression to me.
      It also helps that the missing dot is on the side of the missing time period.
      Calling them “periods” isn’t too much of a stretch- White Raven did with no confirmation bias. “To draw attention to the importance of periods of time.”
      Of course, the missing period from 27 may just have been a misprint/typo. But… one must never accept the obvious here!

    • Yeah, I noticed that WR called them periods too–it actually did embolden me to think that wasn’t a stretch of natural language to describe them as periods.

      (Presumably WR did not imagine this connection, as the Room 27 text on this website does not replicate the missing period.)

      I’m not sure what else to think about this missing period connection. It seems, as yet, unrelated to the missing N in MILLENNIUM, and unrelated to any double meaning of the word “second,” both of which seem like they ought to be significant.

    • And the full top/empty bottom thing with the dots reminded me of how an hourglass functions, but, err… that doesn’t help either.

  4. Since this room is part of the “ loop “ , it seems that the sundial along with its columnar pedestal base and its shadow (when combined) , take on the appearance of a spool with an argent tincture.

    • I don’t know why you’re jumping to heraldry, but I do agree that it looks like a spool—I’ve always thought it was a reel for the strip of film in 25.

  5. It’s probably just a coincidence, but I am curious as to how the following might be interpreted. I took all of the last letters of the words: milleniu(m), centur(y), decad(e), yea(r), mont(h), wee(k), da(y), hou(r), minut(e). And when I rearranged these letters, it spelt out “rhymer key”. I then replaced the word “key” with “stone”, from the title page. After I looked up “Rhymer’s Stone” it took me to someone named “Thomas the Rhymer”. Any clue as to what this may be construed as?

    • If you replace “Thomas” with “you’re” and “the” with “on” and “rhymer” with “the entirely wrong track”, the puzzle practically solves itself

    • Or maybe it’s telling us to take the cross sections of the pyramid pillars, which are SQUARES, like 25.

  6. Here is a probably huge stretch attempt at N….

    N is a variable symbol in algebra. It can mean anything. Second is a measure of time, but can also be an exponent. If Millennium were spelled correctly, there would be 5 Ns on the sign. N=5. N to the second power = 25.

    Or more simply, the N to the second implies that we are looking for a square number, and the only square number door is 25.

  7. I’m sure we’ve all been thinking about “MILLEN(N)IUM” since the latest Ask Manson. I know I have. I haven’t come up with anything definitive, but I have noticed something that seems like a pattern… I’m just going to put it out there and hope someone else can make more sense of it.

    So on the Times Table, we have two errors or omissions: the “SECOND” time increment is missing, and the “N” is missing from “MILLENNIUM.” What these two things have in common is the numbers 9 and 10: we have a list of 9 time increments that’s incomplete and would be completed if a 10th increment were added, and we have a word with 9 letters that is misspelled and would be correctly spelled if it had one more letter, making it a 10-letter word.

    What does this do for us? Well, the two wrong doors, are both multiples of 9. Because the room is all about TIME, and features a TABLE of TIMES, it seems reasonable to have a solution that has to do with the TIMES TABLE.

    Could it be as simple as an odd-one-in solution with 25 being the odd one in, in that it’s not a multiple of 9?

    • I really want to do something with the skeleton clock — it seems intentional that the skeleton on the left has only 2 limbs fully showing, while the right-hand skeleton has all 4. If you add the skeleton limbs to the 2 hands on the clock and count the 1 pendulum as an additional “limb” you get 2 + 4 + 2 + 1: another 9…

      ALTERNATIVELY, and with the opposite meaning, you could count two limbs on the left and five on the right (counting the pendulum as a right-hand limb but not taking the clock hands into account since they are right in the middle) — this gives you 2 5… 25.

      Soooooooooooooo… yeah.

  8. Again also here I had figured that this room was about the movie The Seventh Seal but the solution you have all figured here are much better.

  9. Here’s a crack at the remaining piece of this room.

    The hourglass time table is missing “second,” a word which could be represented by the number 2, if you took it to mean, say, the second item in a list. This means, remove the 2 from 27 above the door. Then you are left with a 7, which also corresponds to the 7th item in the list, DAY, which we know is Saturday from all the stuff that’s come before.

    Then you have the number 18 above the door beside the clock, matching 6:00 pm.

    Between door (2)7 and 18 is the table, which is set up the way you’d set up a bunch of numbers if you were going to add them, with a space at the bottom for an answer. I feel like someone said this below but I can’t find it.

    (There’s also the hourglass at the top, which reinforces this idea… the grains of sand at the top fall to the bottom… adding together to make a total at the bottom, sort of. VW said this I think.)

    So the time table represents addition and it is between the left and middle doors. You add the left and middle doors together (after removing “2″ from “27″) to get the number of the correct door.

    • You could sort of get an equal sign out of the shinbones of the skeleton on the right. Or the thighbones… which connect to the hipbone… which points to 25… dum dee dum dee dum

  10. It’s 6 pm, so light is no longer streaming in from ceiling. Director calls out “LIGHTS!” Light goes on. Shadow of gnomon and shadow gnomon itself make perfect arrow pointing at 25.

    This is hinted at in Room 35 with the turned-on lightbulb and the shadow of the Thing’s legs pointing to the right.

    • Hallelujah! Good job Aria!

      This one has been a long time coming with credit for various other parts of this solution going out to Dave Gentile, Hello Gregor, Kon-Tiki (twice!), SP (thrice!) and Aria (again!).

      Congratulations everyone!

      White Raven

  11. Saturday, Saturn’s day, named for the planet named for the Roman god of time. In Hellenistic astrology, every hour of every day is governed by one of the seven classical planets–and wouldn’t you know, the 18th hour of Saturday was governed by the SUN.

    BFD, sun and time, yeah, those elements are in the room, but we already knew that. What’s the point of using a bunch of time-related clues to lead you to Saturday to lead you to Saturn to suggest “time”? Well, good point, I don’t know.

    • Those skeletons over there on the clock remain unaccounted for. Death (personified) is sometimes associated with hourglasses, and hourglasses are sometimes a symbol of death (unpersonified) in kind of a vague time-keeps-on-passing way. It could just be that they’re just a counter-indicator for the clock, warning you off of 18.

    • I think it was mentioned on Mazecast that the skeletons, which are not apparent on a glance, could indicate that relating the time, whether it be 6am or 6pm, is a red herring (hence two skeletons and not one).

    • I don’t watch MazeCast since that handsome fellow with the beard is no longer on it.

    • Well, Saturn is associated with death as well, which could make the skeleton clock a impetus to combine day and hour. But that seems pretty darn weak, because Saturn seems to have been associated with just about everything, and conflated with just about every god, at one time or another, so there’s not much you could stick on that clock that wouldn’t be arguably related to Saturn. And if you did want a symbol of Saturn on there, there are like a billion better ones to use.

      A skeleton clock is a thing, maybe this is a visual pun, but to what end? Any end?

    • If Saturday is a reference to Saturn, and Sunday to the Sun, would Monday therefore be hinting at the Moon?


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