Room 29

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…a much smaller room.

A person with a white staff turned to face us. His associate shrugged, not an easy thing to do in his position, and went back to what he had been doing.

“Look, look,” said the person with the staff. “This is very important…”

I snatched the paper from his hand and tore it to pieces.

“How will he find his way without directions?” the group wanted to know.

“Don’t worry,” said the man, “here blindness is no disadvantage.”

I hurried my visitors out as quickly as I could to…

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


Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  2   4   8  17  35  40


● The correct door is 17. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path in this room is “upon” derived from the sign “UP & ON” [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.]

● The hidden door in upside down in the middle of the room. The numbers look like candle holders. Up & On tells us to get up and on the table where the hidden door is. The upside right person can’t see, while the tumbler who is upside down can see, because looking upside down helps find the door. [Credit: Slala]

● Over the doors are four images: A bottle is upended to pour its contents out, a leaf blows around and around in the wind, salt and pepper shakers are upended to use them, a windup key is turned over and over, and a spatula flips things over. Also on the floor is an image of an hourglass which is inverted. All hinting that we flip the page over to find the hidden door. [Credit: R. Serena Wakefield | White Raven]  All the doors in this room have an image of something which flips over above them including the hidden door…if the illustration of this room is flipped over, the image of the hourglass on the floor is “above” the hidden door. [Credit: Novice]

● The one candle which is actually IN the candelabra is lit. The others standing on the hidden door are not. [Credit: R. Serena Wakefield | White Raven]

● The staves around the room are upside right and upside down suggesting we flip the book. Blindness is not a problem because an optical illusion is concealing the door. If a person were standing in the room, the candles and candlestick would not obscure the 17 on the door. [Credit: White Raven] Also the 17 is on the door in relief and could be read by touch. [Credit: Kon-Tiki] The staves to the right have to capitals. The staff held by the figure in the center also has no capital, what appears to be a capital is a doorknob for the hidden door. [Credit: Room44]

● If you trace the shadows in the room back to the candle it shows that true position of candle is not in the candelabra. [Credit: Room 44 | White Raven]

● A tablecloth is nailed up where a door could be, when actually the door is where the tablecloth should be (on the table). [Credit: Njorl]

● There are seven unlit candles and one lit candle 1&7+17 the correct (hidden) door. [Credit: David G]

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82 thoughts on “Room 29

  1. Another clue to the correct door is in “The Riddle of the Maze” for Macintosh, where if you click on the blind man, he’ll say, “It’s better read from on your head.”

    • A review of antique pool cues has proved me unjustified in asserting offhandedly that the staves in this room are not pool cues. When I google “antique pool cues,” I see a number of sticks from the distant past that look more or less (some quite a bit more) like the sticks in here: just completely conical and unadorned.

  2. One other thing that I have noticed is that there could be an architectural derivative between the “heads” of the door (or knobs) and the “heads” of a column (or capital) . Another thing I that I would like to find out about is, why is there (what appears to be, anyway) an additional set of the ” 7 1 7 ” symbol, that the upside down man is displaying?

    • Do you mean his elbows making 7s and his body making the 1? Manson does draw attention to his position and arms with the “shrugging” bit. And his one arm is obscured by the table, so perhaps he is making an upside-down 17 with arm and body.

    • And what about the legs which are drooping due to gravity as well? They seem to take on the appearance of a “U” shaped outline, which I’m assuming would then take on a “V” shaped outline, if the upside down man were to straighten out his legs.

  3. I didn’t see this mentioned here or in the discussion for the Directions page, but there’s a clue for this room on that page as well, in the sentence: “If you use your head, you should be able to make the journey in only sixteen steps.“ Without standing on your head like the character in this room, you won’t find the door to room 17, so you won’t be able to make the journey in 16 steps.

    I was obsessed with this book as a kid and I’m so glad this site exists.

    And I don’t know where to put this, but I’ve also wondered if the “to my family” inscription on the final page is a sneaky part of the clue about who the narrator is, but I never came up with anything. Obviously not a reference to the notorious Manson family, but maybe C. M. doesn’t stand for Christopher Manson? I think it’s worth considering all parts of the book, in any event. I also just noticed the “Ret.” number on the back cover under the ISBN (Ret:1185:000570:25). I’m not familiar with this as any kind of number in common use to identify books. Anyone know anything about that?

  4. If the door knobs along with the tchotchke and the top of the stave that the blind man is clenching are all aligned from one point to another around the room, it seems to take the shape of a pentagon, for which could be the base starting area of a pentagonal prism.

    • Disregard where it says – along with the tchotchke – .

  5. I wonder if the bottle above the door that leads to Room 8 could actually be a forgotten representation of the MAZE itself? Reminds me of a bottle shaped dungeon bearing the features of an oubliette. And isn’t the translation of oubliette in french mean “secret dungeon reached only via trapdoor?” The Spanish version of an oubliette is secret maze, a more than anything. Is the gentleman with the alabaster shako, wearing the sunglasses to protect himself from an unbearable light?

    • I think you’re misreading the online etymology dictionary. “Oubliette” doesn’t translate to “secret dungeon reachable only via trapdoor,” that’s just what the word means. It derives from the French word for “forget.”

      That hat doesn’t seem to be a shako.

      If part of the Maze is shaped like a bottle, a bigger part is shaped like an hourglass.

    • I just realized that I posted this comment before reading the solution… oh well.

  6. I suppose “turned to face us” might also be a hint to turn the page. I might also point out that upside-down the sign “UP and ON” becomes “NO and dN.” Could this relate to going dN=down into the door somehow?

  7. I love the man with the white staff! His every word is trustworthy.

    - “Look, look”: Many objects in the room are not what they seem and need to be looked at again.
    - “This is very important”: It solves the chief difficulty in finding the path through the Maze.
    - “Don’t worry”: You are not in the Trap or the Loop.
    - “Here blindness is no disadvantage”: already discussed.
    - “Directions: Up and On”: already discussed.

  8. Two things:

    1. The four obvious doors, as well as the one-way door leading in, have symbols over the door. In a manner of speaking, the hourglass sign is over the hidden door.

    2. Some rooms, such as Room 42, have a “view related images” option. It might be nice to have a “related image” of this room upside down.

    • Novice,

      1. Great observation! I’ve added it to the solution summary!

      2. Done.

  9. Another clue: a tablecloth is nailed where the door should be, so therefore a door is located where the tablecloth should be (on the table)

  10. I don’t see this in the confirmed solutions, it’s probably been said before but either way it seems like it belongs there with the stuff about the optical illusion…

    The stick the blind man is holding is obscuring the door knob of the door to 17 by making it appear to be the top of a scepter. In reality, he is just holding a stick like the ones to his right – which are conveniently shown from all angles to hammer home their flat tops.

    • 515,

      When Manson and I discussed this room I used this solution as an example of a puzzle type, he said that the main point of the staves to the right are to show that the staves have no capital and thus draw attention to the optical illusion. So I was surprised to see that it wasn’t on the summary or my list of yet-to-be-found solutions. I really thought this solution had been added to the solution summary.

      I believe it has been mentioned before but I don’t see it here, maybe I discovered this long ago or perhaps I read it on the old John Bailey site? I’m not sure. So it may be shared credit later but for now, its all yours.

      Thanks for posting this! Good job!

      White Raven

    • Room44 on 8 December, 2013 at 2:28 am said:
      The presence of the extra staves are merely there to show that the ball that appears to be on top of the blind man’s staff is actually not a part of it but rather a door knob.

    • Cool, I’ll respectfully decline the offer of shared credit, WR, looks like Room 44 got it years ago (thanks for digging that up K-T). It seemed too crucial a point to have been missed for so long, I figured someone had already gotten it.

    • 515,

      Very sportsman-like of you! Credit or no, this solution would have languished in obscurity if you had not brought it up again.

    • Room44,

      A very belated congratulations!

      I went back through my revisions of this page and somehow I had written out your solution but it was never published or confirmed. Obviously I was in process and something occurred. At that time I had a computer which randomly overheated and shut down, it could have been that. Regardless, my apologies on not sooner confirming your find.

      White Raven

  11. Alright, so this room is billion-starred and we haven’t said anything helpful about that figure-eight in the string on the hourglass placard. I REALLY WANT that 8 to be the symbol of the Guide path but I just can’t make it be, and Sara thinks it might just be dropping the shape of the Path out there, and I’m afraid that it’s really just there to mislead you into Room 8.

    EDIT: This was mentioned by Anchorperson Smith on June 1, 2014, so it is NOT the Guide path observation/symbol/clue/object/thing. AS IF YOU NEED FURTHER CONVINCING.

  12. I by no means have proof of this, this is entirely guess work.
    I claim that the directions indicate to turn the page upside down. The bases of the candles then show 17 in a mirrored fashion. This indicates the room which the unmarked door leads to.

    • Apparently you have not read the comments or solutions above. You should read the comments, they are great, these people are equal bits smart and nuts.


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