# Room 26

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…a dramatic room with four entrances and exits. “Not enough light in here,” they remarked. “Not very tidy either.”

“Which way now, children?” I asked in my most patronizing voice.

They objected to my tone, but it distracted them from the real clues. The game usually goes as I plan it, despite the intentions of my visitors, or perhaps because of their intentions.

“What the devil is this supposed to be?” one asked. They gathered around and I realized they were close to something. I quickly picked up the bell, ringing it loudly.

Holding their ears they ran out the door to…

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

Room Type:  PATH     Doors: 1  30  36  38

Solution Summary: [COLLECTION CURATED BY WHITE Raven. SEE COMMENTS FOR ADDITIONAL SOLUTION PROPOSALS.]

● The correct door is 30. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path is “Atlas.” “SALT” (the salt shaker) + the letter “A” held by a devil rearranged = “ATLAS.” [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990]

● Three real devils = 3. One fake devil = 0.  3 & 0 is 30 – the correct door is 30. [Credit: Beq S.]

● Door 1 is known to be the entrance. A devil’s tail points to door 36. A devil’s pitchfork points to door 38. The non-indicated door is 30 which is correct. [Independent Credit: Beq S. | White Raven]

● The moon and Saturn = One of the moons of Saturn is named Atlas. The devils emerge in three stages like a rocket and a fourth one is in flight. The loud ringing of the bell is illustrative of the roar of takeoff. The Guide asks, “Which way now?” to answer that, one might consult an atlas. [Credit: Dave G]

● The fake/metal devil represents the Voyager 1 probe which discovered the moon Atlas. The real devils represent fire/take off, the probe was launched with a three-stage Titan-Centaur rocket. The devil’s mouths are open to represent singing – one of the songs played by Voyager 1 is “Devil Bird” which was also a nickname for Voyager 1. The shushing is illustrative of the silence of space. The theater chairs are representative of the bleachers for viewing a launch. [Credit: White Raven]

● The bell is the same shape as the zero for room 30. The Guide rings this bell loudly. The only door with a zero is 30, which is the correct door. [Credit: vewatkin]

● The position of the doors in relation to the door frame in this room strongly suggest that the doors open inward. The doors to 36, 38 and 1 are all blocked to some degree from opening by the open trapdoors. The only door which could open freely is door 30, the correct door. [Credit: Eric]

## 112 thoughts on “Room 26”

1. Being simple, and a naval architect, the only door that can be physically opened beyond a crack is no. 30. Door 38 and 1 strike the emerged right Devil’s trap door and 36 strikes the left door. From the seam (no jam) you can see they open onto the stage. Maybe this is to literal, but it worked here.

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• Eric,

It took a bit to see what you were saying. I think you are right! The doors do appear to open inward and the other three doors are blocked by the trapdoors, though door 1 only marginally so. I’m putting it on the summary. Great solution!

White Raven

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2. I would argue that, of the three devils, the one who has a pointy chin and ears and is fully emerged and is holding a pitchfork is scarier than the middle devil who has a round chin and ears, who is less scary than the left devil who is only a distant threat since he is only beginning to come up. The right devil is near the door that leads to the Trap, the middle devil corresponds to the door that leads to the Loop, and the left devil is the one closest to the correct door.

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3. This seems blatant enough that someone has likely already said it, but the two shushing people’s hats obscure 2 of those bump things on the front of the stage (are those lights? I don’t know). Covering up 2 leaves 15 uncovered, and 2×15 is 30, the correct door.

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4. Both men are holding their fingers up to their mouths in the fashion that usually signifies to “be quiet” or to “not speak.” One of the most common expressions that involves the devil, and speaking, is the phrase “speak of the devil” (this goes along with the two men who do not “speak of the devil.”) The phrase “speak of the devil” has 15 letters, and there are two silent men. 15X2=30

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5. If the chairs are keypads numbered 1-9 then from our view where the people are sitting is 63. From the stage it is 47. From the left it is 12. From the right it is 89. Nothing to this I guess.

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• I know this is a fairly old comment, but look at the men in the chairs again. Counting it like number pads, there are 5 empty seats before the first man, 5 empty seats between them, and 6 seats after the last man. They are shushing towards each other, which I will take to mean “ignore the space between us”. Ignoring the 5 chairs between them, that leaves us with 5 chairs before and 6 chairs after. 5*6 = 30, the number of the correct door.

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6. There are 14 holes in the salt-shaker, and 3 prongs on the devil’s trident. Multiplying 14 by 3 gives 42, which is the correct door, after entering Room 30. Furthermore, the only Room with a door leading to Room 42 is 30… which provides two answers in one.

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7. I haven’t seen this explicitly spelled out, but if the traditional iconography of Atlas has him under the world, holding it up, in Room 26 we get a sort of inversion of that familiar image, with a devil (god’s opponent) who has his feet (and tail) in the place where Atlas’s hands and shoulders ought to be. In this two-dimensional picture, the viewer cannot tell how much distance there is between the suspended devil and the moon behind him, and that spatial ambiguity allows us to see the devil “holding up a world” with his feet and tail. The devil here is a “backwards Atlas,” just as “Atlas” is spelled backwards with SALT + A….

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• Should have added: if the devil is a kind of opposite to the “good” god Atlas, the moon is also opposed to the earth, which Atlas holds up.

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• Yes, and with that and the fact that there is saturn and the moon, and one of the saturn’s moons is atlas…

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8. I chose door 30 here for two reasons (in the text). The word ten can be found three times (“noTENough, inTENtion, inTENtion) 10 X 3 = 30
Also, the word “to” is there three times (2+2+2=6) and there are five doubles (room, usually, supposed,bell,door). 6 X 5 = 30

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9. I always assumed that the men with hats were Moroccans wearing Fezzes (even though they’re very tall Fezzes) since Fez is a city in morocco not far from the “Atlas” mountains. And there’s also an Atlas crater on the moon, and saturn is a titan (or at least the progeniture of the titans), and titan is saturn’s largest moon (i guess the last two have been mentioned).

and… i always thought that devil = “demon” which is an anagram of “monde” which, as you all know, is “world” in french.

and the wrong doors all have “trap doors” (in the floor) in front of them ( i don’t know if this has been specifically mentioned and worded in this way).

and the wooden devil or demon is a “prop”, and prop can mean to hold up or support, like atlas does with the heavens. and the moon can be thought of a being part of the heavens…. (again i don’t know if this has been mentioned, but since i’m spewing…..)

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• I saw two people saying “SH” and two rings (the bell rings and Saturn has rings. Add the letter ‘A’. Would the word SHARING mean anything?

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10. The gals of podcast zero noticed the rope and thought of a symbol of binding groups together, and historically it has been used as that sort of symbol. The thread in 14 they encountered is clearly bad, however, so we need to be careful, but a quick Maze inventory suggests ropes are indeed a positive sign. It gives the correct door here. It forms “Hope” in 22. Correct door in 37. Correct in 44.

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11. V-Watt’s Electric Labyrinth Love discovered a dollop of honey beneath the stage, rubbing their heads after a stand-up bonk, they came to this conclusion:
“Note enough light in here…”
This points us to the moon full of 0 craters. The moon is both up and doesn’t give enough light (compared to the sun).

“Not very tidy either.”
And this directs our gaze down. There’s not a lot of clutter in this room. The only thing out of place is the Bell.
“What the devil is this supposed to be?”
Rather than not being able to identify the object, which is what the sentence would normally be read to mean, the Visitors are reading something into the object. Again, this is our bell. People generally knew what a bell was in the 80s.
“..I realized they were close to something. I quickly picked up the bell, ringing it loudly.”
The Visitors are about to solve the puzzle by looking at the bell. The Guide rings it both to distract and annoy them with the sound and to ruin the clear view of the 0 shape. When the bell is being used, you can’t see it’s mouth so well. This point is reinforced by the following three passages:
1. “I asked in my most patronizing voice.”
Here we look to the patrons of the play I want to see. Their voice is silence.
2. “They objected to my tone, but it distracted them from the real clues.”
Tone here is sound. Sound distracts.
3. From Room 1 in reference to hearing a ringing behind a door: “…the silences of the Maze are as eloquent as the sounds.”
We’re in Room 1 before we get here. This clue doubles as a clue to whether you took the correct door and reinforces the importance of silence once we get there.

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• White Raven’s space Easter Eggs may actually be clues to direct our attention to the moon. Not sure why that would be necessary, though.

The lack of sound theme links with 0, the lack of a number (I know mathematically 0 is a number.) The silent bell is also the silent number. When it rings, numbers fly all over the place.

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12. Objectively just given the picture I’d say neither though is perfect but both are plausable. They are both at least close. Many Fez have a tassle, but not all. Some don’t taper. Some do. They really look too tall for either, but that may get at the “please remove your hat” gag.

So, no, without more to go on, we would not know for sure what to call them. The fact that if the are fez they are the last link in the puzzle argues strongly for Fez, however.

They are Fez because Fez is the best fit with everything else.

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13. Final addition to 26 I think, last touch is last line here.

In the text we have intentions twice. Once separated “inten-tions”. “In ten (9, 8, 7…)”. We have “tone” = “t (minus) 1”. We have “suppose” and “distracted” = subtracted. The calculator pad reads “36” but that would be a false clue, but we also have minus and subtract. But subtract what?? There is really only one bit of unused picture or text I can find. Those hats = Fez. First letter value = 6. 36-6=30=right door. What could justify taking off the “6” for Fez? Well, it is polite to remove your hats in a theater after all.

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14. vewatkin,

You mentioned that you were less than certain regarding the trident but realized that all we need is the zero. I, likewise, am not convinced regarding the trident as it is not grouped with the bell in any way, but your comment about the zero made me wonder so I did a side by side graphic comparison and I’m convinced you are right about the zero.

In regards to the odd one, the tail and trident point to the numbers not the doors.

Both these points are illustrated here:
http://www.intotheabyss.net/room-26-images/

There may be another three out there that matches with the zero but like you said, it’s not actually necessary.

White Raven

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• Yes – the 3 in the ropes could even be closer, but the zero (a round!) is the important thing.

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15. The relatively new bits for room 26 and something brand new:

Raven has later added that “devil bird” was nickname for Voyager 1. I would add that they hold their ears because of the roar, and that the “shh” indicates volume both ways – silence in space and/or noise of rocket.
Finally, if you absolutely have to have an indicator of “30” other than the “odd one in” principle Vswatkin adds:
The mouth of the bell itself forms a 0. This is…also… explanation for why the men are shushing. When it’s quiet, the bell provides a clue; when you’re ringing it, it doesn’t. The rightmost devil’s pitchfork provides a clue to “3,”… The pitchfork isn’t a three just because it has three points; looking closely, you’ll see the pitchfork is slightly asymmetrical, with the top of the 3 slightly smaller than the bottom. The curve of the bottom half is a little different from the top. It’s small, but it gives the impression that this is a numeral 3, not just a pitchfork that by its nature has the shape of a three.
3 and 0 gives us 30. Then adding slightly to this the text says they “gathered around” = “gathered a round”, then he realized they were close to something and picked up the bell.
Raven actually took my ideas in room 26 quite bit farther, but now I can build on his work. That is, after all, I believe, the lesson of the MAZE, work together or you are doomed. The seats are arraigned like the 9 digits of a calculator “pad”. We also have a “launch pad” here. And they help confirm each other.
In the text we have intentions twice. Once separated “inten-tions”. “In ten (9, 8, 7…)”. We have “tone” = “t (minus) 1”. We have “suppose” and “distracted” = subtracted. The calculator pad reads “36” but that would be a false clue, but we also have minus and subtract. But subtract what?? There is really only one bit of unused picture or text I can find. Those hats = Fez. First letter value = 6. 36-6=30=right door.
Final notes: “dramatic” = clue to stage. “plan it” = planet.

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16. Finally, if you absolutely have to have an indicator of “30” other than the “odd one in” principle. The men sit where a “3” would be on a calculator pad of 9 buttons. And the “shh” could mean nothing for the 2nd digit.

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17. Found this in my old stuff:
=======
The artificial devil is meant to represent the Voyager 1 probe that discovered the moon Atlas. In 1980, just when
Manson was beginning to conceive of MAZE, the Voyager 1 probe flew past Titan and Atlas. The probe was
launched with a three stage Titan-Centaur rocket. The “loud noise” and open mouths of the three devils are
probably a reference to the roar of liftoff. The stage is reminiscent of a launch platform and the theater chairs
suggest the bleachers for viewing a launch.

Voyager 1, famously, has sound recordings for aliens to enjoy, this is why the artificial devil’s mouth is open, it is
singing. The two individuals in the audience are shushed because there is no sound in space. Why is all this
significant? One Voyager’s recordings is the Australian Aborigine song… “Devil Bird,” another link to the Voyager
mission and moon of Atlas.
==========
My comments – they run out of the room holding their ears because of the roar. Not sure it looks like the viewing area for a lauch. Maybe on the silence in space idea. But I like the rest of it.

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• I wrote the above (between the equal signs) to David Gentile over a year ago while making this site. On account of it being posted I am bumping the solve meter up to five, so congratulations… me.

The bleachers, and other aspects I mentioned may be coincidental but the voyager connection settles the wooden devil question finishing off this room. I have since learned that “devil bird” was a nickname for Voyager.

I feel weird taking any credit at all since this room would have eluded me without David Gentile’s discovery.

Let’s put it this way…
Final score:
Dave Gentile 4.75
White Raven 0.25

ABYSSIANS PLEASE NOTE: This room is not the norm. MAZE is filled with difficult puzzles, some as challenging as this one, but as far as we know, no other room has a back story this elaborate.

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• This room has been five-starred, but the only explanations for 30 as the clued door rely either on not choosing 1 because we just came from there (reasoning we were told elsewhere only applies in rooms 17, 20, and somewhere in the Loop…if I remember correctly) or some fairly liberal interpretation of something pointing at 1. What’s the answer that took this to five stars?

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• At least as plausible as those, solutions, I think, is that the mouth of the bell itself forms a 0. When the narrative says the children noticed something and the Guide rang the bell to distract them, we assume he is drawing their attention from something else. But it could be that they are referring to the bell, and the guide picks it up and rings it not to obscure the bell but to obscure the fact that if you looked at it as it was sitting on the floor, you would see a zero.

This is, I think, also a better explanation for why the men are shushing. When it’s quiet, the bell provides a clue; when you’re ringing it, it doesn’t.

The rightmost devil’s pitchfork provides a clue to “3,” though that’s superfluous because only one room number has a zero. Still, it is absolutely worth noting. The pitchfork isn’t a three just because it has three points; looking closely, you’ll see the pitchfork is slightly asymmetrical, with the top of the 3 slightly smaller than the bottom. The curve of the bottom half is a little different from the top. It’s small, but it gives the impression that this is a numeral 3, not just a pitchfork that by its nature has the shape of a three.

Anyway, take or leave the 3, but take a look at the 0 on that bell.

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• At least the 3 and 0 part. There is normally more than one indicator of the correct door, so I like your way, mine, and the odd one in principle here. On the “shh” – I don’t really agree. Better reasons are the linage back to room 1, the silence of space, and the naught for the 2nd digit, I think. But I’m putting that idea in with the rest of them.

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• I have found other indicators of door 30 but I am not at all confident that they are correct, especially since they reuse already used items, such as the rope on the left which almost makes a three and Saturn on the right which is almost is a zero. Is this correct? I doubt it. It reuses an item which doesn’t happen too often, and the three and zero are too sketchy in my opinion.

If someone comes up with something really solid we will just have to pretend that the 5 was actually a 4 all along and NOW it is 5. :)

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• To hell with ropes and Saturn. Bell and pitchfork are visually solid and alluded to in the text. NEXT.

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• Were is fork in text? But I agree 90%. “Odd one in” is best clue here. And “3″, “0″ is 2nd best and it seem most rooms at least. have more than one indicator. That was one of my problems in 2012 – when I found one exit indicator I stopped, rather than looking for more (and then found Christopher Manson in the leftovers).

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• Well, I should be clear there; it’s not the fork itself but the devil that is mentioned in the text by the children.

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18. I think it is much simpler than these therioes. The people are quieting the group this means silence. Skipping the bell because it is being mentioned and moving on to the word AS being held by the demons. Then skipping devils because they are also mentioned. We have the moon which indicates it is night. So my theory is

As Silent As The Night
I thought this was a good idea

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19. The “shushing people” are a reference to the clue in the previous room, “the silences are as eloquent as the sounds.” It is a confirmation that this is the correct path perhaps.

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20. The solution from Dave Gentile’s walkthrough:

“In this room we are supposed to find the word “Atlas” which is key to the solution to the maze, and thus this is a key room. SALT + A spelled backwards is “Atlas” (who held the world on his shoulders in Greek mythology). One of the moons of Saturn (discovered in 1980) is named Atlas, and Saturn and a large moon can both be found in this room. The moon is an “A-ring” shepherd, and in this room we have both an “A” and a bell (which rings).

Also, the devils are emerging from the stage in 3 stages = 3 stage Atlas rocket. (And one of them is in flight). Then in the text we have “tidy” and “light in”. Together you have “Titan” and Atlas was a Titan.
The narrator also asks, “Which way now?” and to answer that, one might consult an atlas.”

“The correct exit door from this room actually seems to be fairly clearly indicated. It can’t be #1, since you just came from there (it is the only way into this room) and it is not either of the doors pointed to by the devils. The remaining door is the correct one, number 30.”

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21. Room 26 Solution: Partial.
Second room of the path – The hidden word is “Atlas,” pieced together from the salt shaker and the letter A. “SALT” + “A” = ATLAS.

The correct door is 30. Door 1 is obviously not correct. Doors 36 and 38 are being pointed at by the demons (by a trident and a tail). So the correct door is 30.

Unsolved: The moon, the planet, the shushing people in the chairs, the three demons, the false hanging demon.

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