Room 2

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…a bright room whose walls were in some disrepair. The floorboards creaked and groaned; the plaster made a gritty sound.

They studied the old frescoes for clues but missed the obvious signs.

“Are we on the right path?” they asked.

Keeping in mind what a relative term “right” is, I assured them they were, indeed, on the right path. As for the “correct” path or the “most appropriate” path…. Well, that might be something else.

Full of confidence now they marched out to…

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


Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  12  22  29


● The spear and staff war banners both point towards the Frescos and stand next to doors 12 & 22. The humble broom points to 29 – which is the correct door. [Independent Credit: Hello Gregor | White Raven]

● The text reads, “”Are we on the right path?” they asked. Keeping in mind what a relative term “right” is, I assured them they were, indeed, on the right path. As for the “correct” path or the “most appropriate” path…. Well, that might be something else.” The reference to right being relative draws attention to the bear, the door to the bear’s right, which the bear’s right arm is pointing at, is the “right” (as in “correct”) door. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven] The bear combined with the to-the-right riddle gives us “bear right” (from the point of view of the bear) as a way of phrasing the solution. [Credit: Dave G] The bear is looking upward at a ship/boat in the mural, suggesting travel, or more simply, “go.” This connection is reinforced by the accumulation of items in the room starting with the letter “B” (bench, box, banner, backdrop, bear) which helps us find the Boat. (See solution at bottom for a possible addition to this solution.) [Independent Credit: Vewatkin | White Raven]

● The first words of the text are “…a bright room…” “bright room” is a spoonerism of “right broom” the broom is both pointing at the right (as in correct) door and is also to the bear’s right (as described in the solution above). [Credit: SP]

● The symbol and the Byzantine art in the center panel suggest that the topic of the murals is Constantinople which was Byzantine and used this symbol as its coat of arms (see related images), by extension, the figure in the center likely represents Constantine I or Constantine XI. [Independent Credit: Vewatkin | White Raven (for the significance of the symbol)] [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven (for significance of the art)] The left panel shows the Constantinople soldiers in battle with the Turks, a battle which was lost resulting in the name of the city being changed to Istanbul. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven] There are two good ways of interpreting the rest of the puzzle:

The Fall of Constantinople Solution: All three panels are about the one of the most significant and horrific battles in history the fall of Constantinople. The left panel represents either the escape of the surviving leaders of Constantinople (sans Constantine IX who died), or the flight of several hundred soldiers before the battle began, who snuck out of the city at night and left by ship. Either way the solution to this riddle is to escape from the disaster of the fall of Constantinople by taking the ship. The bear looks to the boat (end of the trail of “B”s in the solution above) to emphasize the route of escape. [Credit: White Raven]

The History of Constantinople Solution: The left panel represents the city when it was called Byzantium by illustrating a significant event from that time period, the saving of the city by the appearance of a bright light or moon summoned by the three-person-in-one goddess Hecate. The center panel with its Byzantine style art represents Constantinople. The right panel represents the fall of Constantinople and therefore the transition to the city being named Istanbul. So the panels represent Byzantium, Constantinople, and Istanbul respectively. “Byzantine” panel is the end of the trail of “B”s (see solution above) and is therefore the correct choice. [Credit: Aria]

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160 thoughts on “Room 2

  1. I don’t know if this has been said but, I have always thought that the teddy bear lets you know that 22 is incorrect. It is as if you are walking to door 22 and the bear, seeing you, rolls his eyes thinking, “not another idiot.”

  2. The narration indicating that the guests are on a relatively “right” path but not the “most appropriate” path probably indicates that this is a good room to be in in that it is in the second half of the Path, indicating that the guests are doing fairly well, but that it is not part of the 16-step true path that leads to Room 45 and back in the smallest number of steps.

  3. In the entrance to room 22, which theatrical themed, there are theater props that can be seen in the doorway. Just throwing that out there.

  4. There are two more spoonerisms in the text, one of which confirms Aria’s Hecate solution: creek/groan = Greek crone. The other one, which is harder to decypher, is gritty sound/city ground. Looked for others in the text, couldn’t find anything meaningful. △

    • Tetra,

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      I see, so you dropped the “ed” on both words then transposed (in spoonerism style) the first letters of “creak” and “groan” to make “greak” and “croan” and took these words as homonyms for “Greek” and “crone.” Correct?

      White Raven

    • I agree that removing the “-ed” is taking a bit of license but spelling changes (-eak to -eek) are normal for spoonerisms. (E.g., pouring with rain/roaring with pain; pleating and humming/heating and plumbing; etc.)

      It’s pretty interesting that all three spoonerisms are in the first paragraph… makes it seem more intentional.

      We’ve already figured out what “bright room = right broom” means and I like creak/groan as referring to Greek crone — Hecate is sometimes thought of as being the Crone in the triple goddess of paganism. (Well, obviously I like it; it supports my Byzantium interpretation.)

      Gritty sound/city ground could just be a clue to what we have already figured out: that this room is all about a city: Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul.

    • Aria,

      I agree that the homonym aspect of the spoonerism is not unusual, I also agree that dropping the “ed” is the larger issue. While I am unconvinced, I think Tetra has done some impressive work here none the less.

  5. Manson clarified the nature of the images of the figures over the door due to the poor transfer of fine detail in this image. The figures are women, with saintly halos, and their arms held up.

    This sinks the theory that they represent a pagan goddess but it also sinks the theory that this is the fleeing soldiers or the fleeing survivors (since is wasn’t just saintly women who escaped.) I think it is safe to assume that the Constantinople setting is correct but clearly the event on the left pane has yet to be found.

    • Hmmm. Does it sink the Hecate theory completely? I’ve been able to find quite a few ancient depictions of pagan gods/goddesses with halos online…

      I guess if Manson used the word “saintly” that’s a definite strike against. But there’s the absence of angels, which seem to indicate Christianity fairly clearly in the other two frescoes.

      I’m resistant to giving up the Hecate idea because there seems to be so many connections in the room. The wall, the three-way crossroads, the broom, and, most importantly, the way the moon in the sky in the fresco over 29 is in exactly the same orientation as the moon in the banner, and I’ve found several references to the idea that the crescent moon became Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul’s symbol in honour of Hecate’s saving the city by the invocation of the bright moon.

      Anyway, if I must I must, but danged if I can find anything else that seems to work, so far…

  6. INTERESTING that the throne/chair is missing from the explanations. I would be tempted to include it as part of the Emperor Constantine idea for the centre panel, BUT what if it is a leftover object? And therefore possibly guide-related?

    ALSO, WR has now declared this room complete, but nothing is on the board about those weird pieces of scenery in the door to 22. Does the fact that they are scenery indicate that they are just background and should be ignored? Or is there something else?


    • I seem to remember that somebody (WR, Manson?) has said that inter-room connections are often red herrings, so maybe the chair, which has a top like half an octagon, and which therefore connects to the stop sign stuff in 22, is a red herring?

      And then I guess in a similar vein we have the scenery, which connects to the “theatrical backdrop” text in 22 as well. So are they both red herrings then?

      Sorry if all of this has been said.

      It does stand out that all the “right” angle triangles in the scenery supports point in the direction of the correct door. I think it was vewatkin who pointed this out and noted that the angle of the supports is weird based on how the scenery is oriented, so it seems deliberate.

    • Does the banner on the right side of the room correspond to one actually used by either side during the Fall of Constantinople, or the Turks afterward?

      The broom connecting to Hecate seems ok–it makes Hecate a bit of a slippery concept, because she turns into some sort of saintly figures that don’t really look very Hecate-y in the fresco, and then she’s connected to the broom through her association with witchcraft though I don’t know that that association would have made sense at the time or in regard to that figure–but those aren’t huge slippages in meaning/association, at least not big to enough to cry about.

      The spear and cloth in the middle might be nothing in particular beyond what they appear to be, but they make me think of two holy relics associated with Constantinople–the Shroud of Turin and the Lance of Longinus. (Wikipedia says that I mean “Holy Lance,” but forget that, I call it the Lance of Longinus.) (And actually, I’m using “shroud of Turin” to mean Jesus’s death shroud, but the shroud claimed to be that shroud and associated with Turin has no necessary connection to the shroud claimed to be that shroud that was kept and lost in Constantinople.) (And the Lance of Longinus, like most historical holy relics, has been claimed to have been located everywhere on Earth, so I don’t know that it’s really that intimately associated with Constantinople in particular.)

      ANYWAY, my point in asking/mentioning stuff is just that it seems like it would fit nicely if the pointy things associated with the doors also lined up with the three events/stages depicted in the frescoes.

    • vewatkin,

      I looked before regarding the banners but did another sweep through some materials I have on hand and did some internet searches to recheck. I again came up with zilch.

      As I see it the center banner is a solid color and the banner to the right is just stripes. The center banner matches a lot of stuff. The Byzantines had many flags including a solid red one, the late Byzantines (Constantinople) also had a solid red flag among other styles, as did the Turks who took Constantinople.

      On the other hand nobody related to the city that I could find had a striped flag.

      Since solids versus stripes is a common metaphor/cliche my guess is that the banners (as well as being symbols of war) are emphasizing that there are two sides and perhaps also emphasizing the fate of Constantinople. The solid banner points to the center panel and the broken area of the mural (throne room image broken = losers). The striped banner points to the invaders in the right panel (non-broken image of soldier on horse trampling someone = winners).

      Of course it’s possible that Manson used a famous painting as reference in which case we would have to find this painting to crack the code.

    • I should note that the above info about the banners supports both solutions equally well. So no help there.

    • Aria,

      There are four kinds of room inter-connectivity.

      1. Reoccurring metaphors that don’t tie rooms together but help solve the riddles, like light and dark, high and low, object grouping, etc.

      2. The Riddle of the Path.

      3. The Riddle of the Guide.

      4. Red herrings whose purpose is to obscure The Riddle of the Path.

      And I suppose there is a fifth, the fact that the rooms are, well, connected. :)

      So if two rooms seem to be connected by something and it really doesn’t look like it is your imagination, then it could either the Riddle of the Guide or a red herring.

    • Well, there are connections like the 10/37 time loop, the ringing/bell/telephone in 1/26/20, the tortoise and the hare, 23 referencing 42, overheard music in 7, the broken-key Trap map in 38, 4/39, 12/28…probably some more, I don’t know.

      What these mean is less clear, at least to me. Some of them couldn’t indicate which way to go, because the rooms aren’t adjacent anyway; of the ones where the rooms are adjacent, they don’t indicate the correct door or the incorrect door consistently. (E.g. The overheard music in 7 connects to the music played in the adjacent 36, but that is not the right way to go. The noise in 4 connects to 39 and the noise in 39 connects to 4, and 39–>4 is correct.)

      But the same is true of the red herring clues as well–they don’t always indicate the wrong door (which would actually make them useful), they just don’t reliably indicate the correct door. If you go from 16 to 7, through the doorway near the crown, and then notice there is also a crown near the doorway to 33 and decide to follow it, you’re going the right way, though your method is going to be confounded when the crown in 33 sends you right back to 7.

      Of course, it just makes sense that a trail of clues would be wrong in one direction but correct in the other; that’s not insightful or anything. I’m just pointing out that recurring elements between rooms, AND references between rooms to each other, are not reliably informative about where you should or shouldn’t go.

    • Vewatkin,

      Manson said he made connections between rooms to disguise the Riddle of the Path.

      Having some rooms linked correctly and other not makes the links even more confusing/worthless, otherwise you could just avoid rooms with red herrings and make progress.

      Basically the idea that two rooms (and only two rooms) are connected is just noise. This principle was illustrated via a comparison of the cover and prologue…the red herring replaced with “THE NEXT PAGE.”

  7. The right panel:

    The right panel is where things get complicated. Just prior to the Turks surrounding Constantinople a bunch of soldiers (hundreds) snuck out of the city during the night, took their ships and left. Almost everyone else in the city wound up dead or enslaved. The only other Byzantine people to escape did so at the end of the siege after the wall was breached and Constantine IX was killed. The ranks fell apart and fled the Turks surged in cutting them down and then suddenly stopped and allowed some survivors to board ships and leave. While there were strategic reasons the Turks stopped killing the Byzantines, the survivors took it as protection from God. The retreat from Constantinople began during the day and ending at night.

    On the right panel we see nobles or angels standing on the ground under the moon between the ships on the right and the invading soldiers on the left.

    The ships may represent the soldiers who snuck off before the siege but it makes more sense to see the ships as representing those who escaped the siege at the end protected by angels into the night or the nobles who escaped hands raised in surrender.

    So in this solution the center and right panel represents destruction, while the left panel represents escape, emphasized by the bear looking up at the boat.

    • The two main issues are the angels/Hecate and the ships.

      1. The nobles/angels/Hecate/witches and the moon

      The three figures have very clear halos so we can rule out that these are ordinary humans. They are nobles, angels, gods, or saints.

      In the History solution these are the tripartite goddess Hecate or perhaps witches. Since Hecate is not associated with wings in any fashion that I could find. This means that the figures have their arms raised. Either it is witches calling on Hecate to bring forth the light of the moon, or it is Hecate herselves calling forth the light of the moon.

      In the Fall solution these are three angels or nobles either with arms raised or folded wings and the moon is just night except perhaps to emphasize the symbol.

      2. The ships

      In the History solution the ships could represent Yeat’s sailing to Byzantium (but we would need more evidence for this) or the boats by which the invaders fled.

      In the Fall solution the ships are being protected by the angels or about to be boarded by the nobles.

    • My 2 cents:

      One small problem for both these solutions is the attacking soldiers shields, only in the time of Byzantium and early Constantinople would soldiers have carried shields. But by the time the the ship in the illustration appeared shields were passe. Oops.

      The nobles/angels/Hecate/witches:
      The wings/arms are indecipherable, could be either. The arms are a little short and quite curved but don’t look like wings either.
      The figures are wearing dark clothes which match the nobles in the center panel suggesting they are nobles. This is a blow to the Hecate theory. Perhaps they are witches but they don’t look witch-like either.
      The figures have a halo which matches the halos of the angels and the figures in the throne room. In Byzantine art painting halos around saints and nobles was typical. No where that I could find is Hecate illustrated with a halo.
      Winner: Fall

      The moon:
      The moon in the illustration is large and apparent. In the Fall solution the moon just represents night and ties in with the symbol. Since the retreat started during the day illustrating nighttime isn’t really necessary. In the History solution the prominence of the moon makes more sense.
      Winner: History

      The ship:
      The ship in the illustration matches the time period of the Fall of Constantinople but not the age of Byzantium. The prominence of the ship makes sense in the Fall solution but is really unnecessary in the History solution. The bear looks up toward the ship.
      Winner: Fall.

      The trail of “B”s:
      In the Fall solution the trail of “B”s ends at the “boat.” In the History solution it ends with “Byzantium.” “Byzantium” is a more satisfying end to the trail.
      Winner: History

      The soldiers:
      The soldiers are marching toward the figures under the moon and the ships on the far side. If this was the Hecate event it would make more sense for the soldiers to be in the middle, marching away from the figures and the moon and toward the ships. If the figures are angels or nobles then this makes more sense, either protecting the ships from the soldiers or fleeing on the ships.
      Winner: Fall.

      The whole puzzle:
      In the Fall the solution to the puzzle is escape from destruction, this makes sense for a room which is a side room off of the path, turn back or else. Much like the message “Go Back.”
      In the History solution the solution is “B” for “Bzyantium” which makes good use of the B trail, the left-to-right reading of the history is reasonable, and it may also tie in the broom.
      Winner: Tie

    • Wow. I’ve gotta say, I cannot decide which of these two solutions I like best, actually! They both have their pros and cons, as you’ve pointed out, WR. I’m still digesting and mulling.

      One thing I will say is that I think the three women above 29 definitely are raising arms, not wings. Look at the representation of the wings and arms in the angels in the centre panel — the arms of the angels look like the arms of the women in the door 29 panel and the wings are unmistakably wings. Not that this really helps decide anything. ;)

    • Aria,

      In some byzantine wall carvings angels wings look something like this but none the less I think I agree with you, they do look mostly like the arms on the other characters.

      Why do you think they are women? To me they just look like people in robes with halos.

    • Even though both these solutions are very good I suspect that since both these solutions have some flaws that there is a modification or better solution that fills in the gaps that has yet to be found.

    • WR, I read them as women because unlike the nobles above 22, they seem to have some kind of distinct white bodice as part of their clothing. I have no idea what the historically correct clothing would look like but to me this makes them look feminine, while the nobles above 22 look more masculine.

      The “women” are also notably shorter than the soldiers, but that may not necessarily tell us anything about their height if Manson is emulating Byzantine art.

      Selfishly, I’m now dying to Ask Manson about this room.

    • Aria,

      You could be right about the figures being women but I am still not sure, what you took for a bodice I took for a neck cape like is being worn by the noble standing to the left of the king. The figures are so small that even scanned and blown up it’s hard to tell what is what.

  8. The Fall solution and the History solution basically agree regarding the right hand panel and only differ in terms of implications.

    The right hand panel is simply an image of a battle – the battle gets it’s meaning from the association with the center panel representing Constantinople. The angels over the ruler in the center and the angels over soldiers on the right panel make the association easy, the soldiers fighting just to the right of the center panel of soldiers of Constantinople.

    In the History solution this is the Fall of Constantinople and therefore this panel represents the name change to Istanbul.

    In the Fall solution this is just the Fall of Constantinople.

  9. Aria, Abyssians,

    What Aria posted is not what I had but there is a fair amount of overlap and I don’t know which one is more correct. So I am putting both on the board and I will delete/modify as appropriate in the future.

    Each solution has its own strengths and weaknesses. We entirely agree on the center panel and I think we have slam dunked that the murals in this room are about Constantinople. But before I say more…

    CONGRATULATIONS ARIA! That was some great investigation! Regardless of how we decide/harmonize what we have, this room is now a five and you are the Cluemaster. Now I can’t even remember who the previous Cluemaster was…not that it matters. :)

    Here’s what we agree on:

    The star and crescent is in this case the symbol of Constantinople. The symbol is presently best known as the symbol of Islam (usually with five points) and originated with the Turks taking Constantinople and adopting the symbol.

    The center image is an idealized example of Byzantine art, even the angle of the angels (heh heh) is correct. The person in the center is either Christ or more likely a king – Christ is almost always standing in Byzantine art and rarely in a throne room while kings are usually depicted in this manner.

    Neither by itself points to Constantinople but when the symbol and byzantine art are taken together the conclusion becomes solid.

    I will deal with the left and right panels in separate posts to make it easier to discuss…

    • Here’s the central thesis:

      All three panels are about the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. For the non-history buffs the Fall of Constantinople is considered to be one of the most brutal events in the history of war. I once saw it on a short list of the most horrific wartime engagements put together by a group of historians that also included such events as Gettysburg, Stalingrad, the Dresden firestorm, and the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan.

      For simplicity’s sake I am calling this solution “The Fall” and because Aria’s solution is about three stages of the history of the city, I am calling that solution “History.”

  10. OK, so here is my idea for Room 2.

    Room 2 = the city known first as Byzantium, then as Constantinople, then as Istanbul.

    In brief:
    Door 29 represents Byzantium
    Door 22 represents Constantinople
    Door 12 represents Istanbul

    We choose door 29 because all the “B” objects in the room clue you to pick that room, along with the already-mentioned b-right = bright.

    Why Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul? The crescent moon and star is a symbol of the city as (I think) vw pointed out. The frescoes and other objects all represent events in the history of the city, as described below…

    • Door 29

      We have some soldiers arriving and what looks like three women with their arms up. In surrender? I say no… take a look at this from Wikipedia:

      “… in 340 BC the Byzantines and their allies the Athenians were under siege by the troops of Philip of Macedon. On a particularly dark and wet night Philip attempted a surprise attack but was thwarted by the appearance of a bright light in the sky. This light is occasionally described by subsequent interpreters as a meteor, sometimes as the moon… ”

      “Devotion to Hecate was especially favored by the Byzantines for her aid in having protected them from the incursions of Philip of Macedon. Her symbols were the crescent and star, and the walls of her city were her provenance.”

      So the three women directly over 29 represent Hecate, a tripartite goddess of various things, including crossroads (especially three way crossroads, just like the one here!!!), light, and witchcraft. The moon in the fresco just above the women is Hecate’s bright light that thwarted the attack. (“Bright” room in the text could be another connection.) And there’s the broom pointing to 29 – connected to witches – Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft.

      So for the room 29 door we have a representation of an unsuccessful attack on Byzantium, thwarted by Hecate. Notice that the walls here are in good shape – protected by Hecate because “the walls of the city were her provenance.” The walls of this room even kind of look like they could be city walls…

    • Door 22

      Here we have the Emperor Constantine presiding over Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. (The angels are just to show that we’ve now got a Christian ruler in charge of the city.)

    • Door 12

      This fresco shows the fall of Constantinople as Sultan Mehmed II defeats the Christian armies (banner with crescent moon represents Islam). The city became known as Istanbul.

    • Other random stuff. From Wikipedia:
      “The crescent was in use in the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium. Subsequently, it became one of the symbols of the Byzantine Empire and especially of Constantinople. Indeed, during the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars, the crescent was used simultaneously by both the Byzantines and the Ottoman Sultans.”


      Finally, Google images of “siege of constantinople 1422″ and take a look at the map you get. Doesn’t the shape of the city KIND OF look like the bare spot on the wall of 12?

    • Oh! And I forgot to mention that the structure of the room, as well as the structure of the interior shown in the fresco over 22, recall Byzantine architecture.

    • I don’t know if Yeats’s Sailing to Byzantium is also somehow involved. It’s possible I guess. It does riff on a Mansonesque theme of real vs artifice… The spear on 22 could be the “tattered coat upon a stick…” (The boat, of course.)

  11. Guys, I am trying to work out something whereby this room represents Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul. It’s slow going b/c I am terrible with history but I feel like there is something here… anyone with a good grasp on this kind of thing care to help me out? I’ll try to post the full idea later today…

    • I don’t have time to fully investigate this today, but maybe it will help: the cracks in the wall – referenced in the first sentence of text – look like they might be shaped like a map… First glance, the two next to 12 could be a rough outline of Asia, the one by 22 is kind of slanted like Europe, and the one by 29 could be the New World as Columbus arrives….?

  12. V W just mentioned “the big” puzzle by which he means the guide. But I hope people continue to work on the bigger puzzle of Maze once the guide business is out of the way. There are more multi-room puzzles, and there are room-level solutions needed for some of them – none of which are in WR’s point system. Manson left the door open to more multi-rooms in his communication with WR and when I tried to ask about room-level solutions rather than a simple – “no, you are on the wrong track” he vaguely agreed that rooms have organizing principles.

    It’s clear to me at least that we need those room solutions to decode the wall in 40, and find whatever the final message of maze is. I don’t think 40 is the final answer – it is more like the final question/puzzle.

    I’ve pointed to 45 as a theme room where groups of objects add up to single words, which then form the basis for a descramble the words puzzle. A few details give exit clues.

    26 is another agreed theme room. Everything there is either about the exit or about “Atlas”. It’s not a room you build in pieces, however, so it is a different style that 45. Room 15 I recently posted seems to give us “Helios” with details giving exit indicators. Room 37 – the exit indicators go multiple directions – but the room-solution clears it up – “Water” is the room solution pointing to the door marked with an “H20″. There is a checkered flag to mark the last room in 20 – recently reenforced by seeing the towers and black and white rooks (chess is played on a checkered board of course) Some rooms are simple – “I” in 34″ “IT” in 4. Room 41 has a phase related to the “Maze-clock” puzzle. Room 10 is a “measure” which is used on the wall in 40 and in other multi-rooms. Room 21 seems strongly leaning towards “harmony” and a final answer. But I don’t have satisfactory answers in all rooms yet – there is more to do after the guide. Some of these room-solutions probably require some of W Rs puzzle points (and maybe some of them even are the puzzle points). So we still need to work on maze-points and more, after the guide. I’m posting this is room 2, because I understand its keyword meaning better now – but I’ll post that separately.

    I know W R still has his remaining maze points to keep secret – but I hope he is interested in working more collaboratively on the rest of Maze at some point. And I hope we don’t lose a bunch of helpers if the guide is known.

    • Room 2. It seems I came up with the line of spears and the broom making a trail late in my last focus on Maze, last year in 2014. I did not fully update rooms 2 and 40 based on that. But at the time I noted at least to self, that with that trail a good candidate word for room 2 was “path” – which happens to work well on the wall in 40. It gives “I measure man against a soul(‘s) life path – it(‘s) true path will strike man at last. (Or something close to that).

      A hint seems to be “answer = man” – I don’t think that answers the question suggested by the wall, however. 45′s general idea that we all need to live in the world together or all die together is a general hint as well. But it does not tell us what a “soul’s true path” is. So there’s your final puzzle – one I have no clue to at this time. What is a soul’s true path.

      Anyway here is 2 – I can now see with a lot more confidence that “path” is intended. First of all the whole idea of putting the crown on the bear to make a path is much stronger with knowing the new guide paths. The “look” path comes through this room (in reference at least) and so does the “…” path – based on the “spot spot spot” chain. And unless I’m wrong, (or maybe we have another path or something) – W R’s path is referenced here as well. That we have all the references to “path” in the text of course.

      So long story short – the key word here is “path”, I feel I can confidently say. And I hope after the guide is found – some of the focus can shift to finding things like this.

      BTW the very short wall nearest us in 40 has symbols with 4,5, and 7 pen strokes. Rooms 45 and 7. 45 is pretty clearly “Riddle” for a key word, I think. And 7 seems to be “guide”. So this here in room 40 I think is the “Guide riddle” – it’s not about his identity but rather about how he measures us.

  13. White Raven, did you purposefully not include the spoonerism I found in the solution list? (Bright room / right broom) We know Mr. Manson likes spoonerisms from The Rails I Tote, I have no doubts this was intended.

    • B / right. Works in a couple ways. Broom right. Bear right. Or just all the “b”s right.

    • I just find it hard to believe that this clue was unintended. If we’re adding stars to rooms based on intended solutions (not just on what people “like”) then this should be added. It would be arbitrary to star rooms on a mix of intended and unintended clues, and ultimately it would make the star process redundant.

    • SP,

      You are correct that the points are meant to reflect only what was intended by Manson but, of course, there must occasionally be guess work on our part as to what was intended. I’m not entirely convinced this solution is intentional but I am certainly convinced enough to add it.

      When this solution was posted by Vewatkin it was the last post before the page separated, I believe this is how I missed it, my apologies.

      White Raven

    • I think the factors I explained are pretty solid in showing it was intended. My concern is that you missed a lot of legitimate posts on this site just by sheer quantity of comments. I’m not tooting my own horn here, I’m not a full-bird cluemaster, I do not expect to muscle in every clue I come up with the way I have with this one. I am simply concerned that there is a high noise-to-signal ratio here that’s causing correct comments to go unnoticed. How can we help so that important posts are not missed? For all we know, there could be solid Guide info on here, camouflaged by the noise.

    • And by noise I mean for Whitey Ray Ray (his street name), since I know backend site management is not a walk in the park when you are juggling live users! so far I think you are all doing a bang up job of not giving up and cyberbrainstorming! Keep it up people!

    • SP,

      Yep, it is a legitimate concern.

      A snapshot of my life: This last year I have been running a big business, two small businesses, helping to start two other small businesses, working to start a new big business, working with two major clients, and trying to finish my ill-fated (perhaps cursed?) dissertation. These are all things I really want to be doing but “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

      The only suggestion I have is that if you feel strongly about a solution and more than three days have passed, post it again, but if you do keep in mind the following…

      Sometimes I don’t confirm solutions because I cannot tell if they are correct or just so vague that they sound somewhat correct-ish. So if a favorite solution has been ignored and you choose to repost it, check to make sure you’ve spelled it all out.

      Sometimes solutions which look fantastic are actually part of a larger puzzle and there is no way I can confirm the solution without giving away the solution to the larger puzzle. So, I guess, ask yourself, could I be on to something bigger?

      Also know that about once every other week I read through all the comments from a room from the beginning to make sure nothing has been missed.

      Sorry again for overlooking the post and thank you for voicing your concerns! I will try to do better!

      White Raven AKA “Whitey Ray Ray”

    • Oops – yeah 6 points. Would have to count the bears ears if it meant the bear. Started googling- did not find the 6 point Byzantine one yet – but did fine that the Taj Mahal is topped with a combined spear and crescent – much like I just suggested making. Says it was the standard of the Mughal empire – interesting…

    • Google “crescent moon six-point star.” While the Byzantine emblem is descriptively similar to the one seen here, however, it is not visually mistakable, at least in any image I’ve seen.

    • I found a number of Polish ones probably related to Byzantine heritage, I guess – although – I’m finding 8 sided Byzantine stars that are sometimes mislabeled as 6. I did find a Roman Denarius with a 6 star.

      A Turkish stamp

      And a symbol of a Jewish German community.

    • Abyssians,

      When I was researching the symbol in this room I found over 10 major groups/peoples that used a symbol like this and that just about every one which used a symbol like this varied the points of the star from 5 to 8.

      Identifying the source of the symbol just by looking at the symbol really isn’t possible.

      Hope this is helpful,

      White Raven

    • WR’s reply here seems to imply that there is another way of figuring out the source of the symbol…

  14. The moon above the bear should give us moon thoughts, the gritty plaster in this context looks like moon dust. This could either indicate to exit along the trail marked by the broom for sweeping the dust – or the door with the moon above it that the bear looks at. Much more simply – the moon on the wall could tells us to exit where the moon is on the fresco – the only issue there is the crescent topped banner.

    I know I’ve done that one – but maybe it is slightly different this time around.

    • I still think “bear witness” might factor into something too – the frescoes are a “bare witness” to history. The bear is witnessing things above. If not “witness” (as in 23) then maybe just something else with bear/bare.

    • How about something with “sweeping history” – like there is a chain of events – the plaster fell down with time, someone came with broom and box to clean it and left in the direction the broom shows.

  15. Simple thought: The triangle supports aim towards the correct door. The box aims at the correct door.
    Complex claw theme thought: bear with raised arms tells us to “bear arms” so we pick up the banners and “march” with “confidence” out the door with the only remaining pointer – door 29. Putting together the two spear heads makes a 3-claw thing in the process – which the bears shape might allude to as well. Yeah – I know…

  16. I’ve,done this one before but this might add an element. Put the bear on the chair and crown him with the crescent end of the spear. The three straight things now form a trail with three pieces like the spot spot spot. The coronation above could hint at this. As could the crescent and star. The star as five points sort of like the bear. Finally the triangle backgrounds could hint at it since they have an upright part, a flat part, and a slanted part

  17. It seems like there is a LOT going on in this room (maybe part of the Guide puzzle? Moon + star = monster?) But I was wondering why the fact that the bear’s right arm indicates the correct door isn’t part of the noted solution for the room. I think it was mentioned earlier in the comments? And it seems like this was intended by the guide mentioning that “right” is a relative term. Relative to the bear, the right door is the “right” door. (As indicated by “b-right” in text as others have noted.) This is pretty solid, isn’t it? Maybe?

    (Maybe I had too much wine at dinner.)

    • Bear says “bear right” huh?
      This is one of the most confusing rooms for me personally – I’ve had some ideas that seem like they might have a degree of merit but have missed WR’s mark anyway, and I don’t think they all could be simaltaneously intended in any case. Then we have Manson’s nix of any 2nd amendment stuff “right 2-bear arms”…stil a myster room.

      But the bear’s right arm seems nice and simple to me.

    • Aria – bear spots the spotted Pinta right? What if it has “spotted” land? Trail of three spots. Look at shields over door 2 and the 3 head things of whoever they are. They are over the correct exit.

    • Congratulations Aria & Dave G!

      Dave G, I didn’t have “bear right” but I buy it.

      Bumping the solve meter up one.

      From what I am aware of we are done with the obvious signs, what remains is crazy hard.

    • Oops, almost left out Vewatkin on this one!

      Congratulations Vewatkin from way back in June 2014 on noting that the bear is looking at the ship/boat!

      Sometimes its hard to keep all of these solutions straight.

  18. And for a break from all the complex stuff…bear looks at moon in fresco. Moon is on wall. Lunar cycle is 29 days. 29 is correct exit.

    • I thought the lunar cycle was 30 days so I looked it up. Google says “1 lunar cycle = 29.53059 days” so technically closer to 30 than 29. Which sucks since this would be a great solution. Is there any reason (historical false belief, symbolic use of the number) to take it as 29 instead of 30?

    • In support on 29 I’d first note that there are no fractional doors and dropping the fraction gives 29. Of less interest the length of the month varies from 29.18 days to 29.93 says wiki.

    • I agree with Dave on this one, actually… 29 FULL days makes sense. Door numbers can’t show fractions.

    • Aria,

      Yes you could drop the fraction (29)…or you could round to the nearest number (30). I grew up believing there were 30 days in the lunar cycle. I found some lunar cycle descriptions from the 1940s that also had the cycle as 30 days. And early editions of the Farmer’s Almanac before adding fractions had the cycle as 30 days. The weight of evidence thus far is for 30 as being the go-to number for representing the lunar cycle.

      To confirm 29 days as a solution I would need at least some shred of evidence in support of Manson thinking 29 (not 30) was the length of the lunar cycle. A description of image or something from recent American history would do.

    • Me and Aria were also toying with the idea of Room 2 representing February, and 29 days in a leap year. But we had no way of linking the numbers to a clue.

    • sp,

      It is a good idea though! Off hand I don’t see anything related to leap year or February but I’ll let you know if I think of something…

      …apparently Woodrow Wilson died in February. :)

    • well that sucks. now he’ll never know he was an important part of a solution in a book people torture themselves over everyday.

    • Apparently in a lunar calendar you have alternating months with 29 and 30 days. This from Wikipedia:
      “The average length of the synodic month is 29.530589 days. Thus it is convenient if months are in general alternately 29 and 30 days (sometimes termed respectively hollow and full). ”

      The Islamic calendar is an example of a lunar calendar. Again from Wikipedia: “Each month of the Islamic calendar commences on the birth of the new lunar cycle. Traditionally this is based on actual witnessing of the crescent marking the end of the previous lunar cycle and hence the previous month thereby beginning the new month. Consequently, each month can have 29 or 30 days depending on the visibility of the moon, astronomical positioning of the earth and weather conditions .. certain sects and groups, most notably Dawoodi Bohra Muslims and Shia Ismaili Muslims use a tabular Islamic calendar (see section below) in which odd-numbered months have thirty days (and also the twelfth month in a leap year) and even months have 29.”

      We’re in an even-numbered room, so … 29!

      OK, OK, pretty far-fetched.


    • CLOSER to but STILL 29!!! im with aria on this one! it might not get us closer to the guide in terms of points but 29 is 29 regardless of what’s after the decimal! what would have been in the 1985 farmer’s almanac??

  19. “Full of CONFidence now” or “Full of CONFetti now” from marching in the parade…confetti is what is being swept up into the box…another C word.

  20. The “tree prop” in room 30 has a tree trunk and fractal edges around the leafy edges whereas the props in door 22 in this room are smooth edged from top to bottom and no trunk, making me feel that they are “clouds” that float.

    • “Not trees” seems right to me. Perhaps clouds. Bushes? Interesting – I still think we have A,B,C exits here, labeled by “arrow”,”broom”,and,”crescent”. Depending on if you are heading in of out of the Maze, this is a rare room you could make a case for two doors being correct. “29″ is most correct it seems, by the convention that getting you to 45 is the more important task. 22 is clearly wrong and a TRAP, however. “bushes” and “clouds” would both add to the collection of “B” and “C” words in the room – there are a number of each. And of course there may be more to them than just that.

    • Bushes could fit with the B theme; clouds could fit with the angel theme. (It’s not good theology, but these winged fellows look like the type to sit on clouds and play harps in Renaissance art or Daffy Duck cartoons.) I think I always thought they were bushes but I can see where clouds are coming from.

      They are also BACKS, supported by RIGHT angles.

      I think it’s getting somewhat difficult to tell when I’m being sincere.

      I do think the right triangles are meaningful here, especially since the one on the rightmost cloud/bush seems to be attached in a strange way that makes it clear to us that it’s a right triangle but doesn’t seem well-suited to actually supporting the prop. That is, instead of sticking out directly behind the cloud/bush, it’s stick off to the side a bit, which is an odd way to build your backdrop.

    • OK – here is a serious attempt – door 12 is to the RIGHT in the picture, and door 22 has RIGHT angles showing. But door 29 is the RIGHT door (also the correct and most appropriate).

  21. —–This room contains Christopher Manson’s full name:
    The first relief (on the left) depicts CHRISTOPHER Columbus being greeted by the natives-women in grass skirts-Santa Maria Ship to the right. Middle relief depicts Jesus raised into heaven seated on a throne, angles above, people bowing down, he is “The SON of MAN – MANSON. We have CHRISTOPHER MANSON. The third relief depicts Bb. Revelations-a white horse being gloriously ridden into heaven-the rider’s name is Bb.“Faithful and True”. Manson advised us his name happens to be Christian but that he did not include religious dogma into the MAZE. These depictions and their use verify that statement.
    —–Broom handle is the same as the “poles” that the banners leaning on the wall are mounted on-the broom is a typical dry “straw” head on a “pole”. Broom is pointing to Door #29 that has won the “Straw Poll (Pole)” and is the correct door (Room #8 notes “they voted amongst themselves).
    NOTE: Columbus, as the story goes landed in 1492 … 14reverse29 as a room clue.
    —–Narrative: “the right path, correct path, appropriate path” is stressing a particular path-that would be the Parade Path (stay with me here this is good). The flag with crescent and star is the flag of Turkey of which the stuffed teddy bear is looking up towards-we have a “stuffed turkey” denoting the early American Holiday and Thanksgiving Day Parade (path). Door 22 has “cloud” props-clouds float – floats if you will for the parade. The special chair on the “right” side of the room (right appears twice in the narrative and is found in “bright” along with “they marched out (marched in the parade)”, that chair would be for Santa Claus, ergo; The Santa Maria pictured in the first relief. The third relief, Revelations -“revelers” are found along the parade path. The Thanksgiving Day Parade is what brings Santa to town.
    —–As for the box with rocks in the middle of the floor-I’m just thinking “dumb as a box of rocks!” It may be full of gritty plaster (garbage) and represents “cleaning up” after the parade which is always a big sweep.

    • I should not comment on everything – but I have enough Christophers, thanks. :)

      “parade” is interesting to me mostly because of the specific word “marched”. I think those are trees not clouds, however. It is not the exact flag of Turkey. (One could argue “close enough” but then why not exact?) A broom and litter fits with a parade. Banners too. Celebrations too.

      Marching music is often 2/2. But that sort of points us to the wrong door 22.

      So I don’t think there is anything here yet – but if we find more, maybe.



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