Room 32

Navigate by clicking on doors or door numbers.

Image Map

…a large square room with a hole rudely broken through one wall. It must have taken a great deal of strength to pull the heavy stones out of position.

The symmetry was also disturbed by the apparent loss of one of the room’s statues. My visitors thought a thief had broken into the room, removed the figure, and made away with it. This, of course, was one explanation.

“Another one!” they cried.

“You mean another representative of the animal kingdom?” I asked.

“What is a bird like that doing here?”

“Roosting, evidently.” Their attitude was really beginning to irritate me. I have come to think of all the inhabitants of this House as members of my little kingdom. People can be so arrogant…in a very real way we are all of us animals, at least in part.

I wouldn’t answer any more of their questions so we left this room to enter…

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


Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  6   11  16  28


● If you change the “sea” on the sign “Sea bag o.k.” to a “C” it is an anagram for “Go back” which is the correct move, back through door 28. [Independent Credit: David G | Owen Hammer]


58 thoughts on “Room 32

  1. Two ideas for this one. I think the simplest is most likely since the GO BACK solution gets 4 out of 5 in the room, suggesting what remains is minor. However, here they both are:

    1. The bird has a crest. The column capitals have crests. Take the hidden “2″ on top of the right-hand column (closer to the bird), which points to the bird. (Alternatively you could see the columns themselves as a Roman II but I like this less.) Viewed from the back, the bird’s head and body (above the “roost”) look like a tall, narrow 8 like the one on door 28. The tail then points to 28 to reinforce the connection. I feel like “roosting” in the text as associated with the bird is another hint, because it contains the double “o”s — an eight on its side. Perhaps also clues that the roost is important as a divider.

    2. The Hercules stuff mentioned by Dave G. and Vincent below is interesting and I came up with an expansion. Hercules’ 11th(!!) task is the one where he has to get the golden apples, and he convinces Atlas to retrieve some by offering to take his burden of the celestial sphere or whatever for a bit while he goes.

    Atlas tries to get him to keep the burden when he returns, and Hercules pretends to agree, but tricks Atlas into taking the weight back for a moment while he “adjusts his cloak” for better padding. Then, clever hero that he is, he takes off — through door/wall 11, completing his 11th task while screwing Atlas. This explains the pissed-off look on the Atlas’s face in this room as it looks at the hole in the wall.

    ADDITIONALLY, there’s the bird. This could be a Stymphalian bird, representing Hercules’s sixth (SIXTH!) task. (The bird is facing the door to room SIX, see…) The task was to eradicate these horrible man-eating birds, which had all kinds of awesome superpowers like shooting razor feathers and TOXIC DUNG, according to a number of sources I found. SO… since this is a room with only one entrance, your best move as you enter from 28 is to stop in the doorway, look at SEA BAG O.K., solve that puzzle, look up at the bird, realize you’re about to get hit with poisonous poop, and beat a hasty retreat.

    • I guess the fact that the devil’s room number is shaped like a crest might be another clue to look at crests, or just another way of connecting the crested bird with the number 6 (hence making us think of the sixth labour).

  2. No one has mentioned this but if you actually had to go down the stairs at the angle they go down you would have to crawl to get under the overhanding floor. Poor building or clue?

    • I’m pretty sure the House is exempt from local building codes.

    • Yeah, they tried sending a bylaw officer but he never came back. Something about no washrooms not being up to code?

    • Yeah, it’s hard to enforce building codes when the inspectors wind up in Room 24. Now there’s a room which really needs adequate plumbing.

  3. An anagram of “Sea Bag O.K.” is “Go A Beaks”. There is a bird (and therefore a beak) sitting on a perch above the door to Room 28.

  4. Wondering, does anyone have an idea of why the door 6 entrance is so…well, generally messed up? Another asymmetrical thing. I think it’s just to discourage us from entering the Trap but I don’t know. Also, both statues appear to be looking at door…well, hole-in-wall 11. Additionally, the sandbags there could refer to the sand and sand related stuff in other rooms but I don’t have anything on that yet.

    • Double jinx ;)
      Symmetry will be the death of me…didn’t fare so well on the symmetry lesson in 3rd grade and yet as soon as it comes into something I actually like I am a math whiz…

  5. RE the symmetry thing, the only door number with a symmetrical numeral in it is 8… so go through 28?

    I haven’t yet watched the Mazecast for this room, but it’s mentioned below that the asymmetry of the various doors is discussed in it. I just noticed today that the column on the left is set ahead of the centre thingee and the column on the right is set back from it. Probably this is on the MAzecast too.

  6. I’m working on a Guide theory and I wonder — does anyone know if that white thread from door 11 to door 16 is a real thing or some kind of printing error? If it’s intentional, it’s pretty weird… I got excited and thought maybe I could find others. Alas, no.

    • That would be neat, and thematically appropriate for marking a path through a labyrinth. I got excited too. I’m still a little excited!

    • I blew up the image x8 and it really looks like a printing error. If Manson had intended the line to be there the pen lines wouldn’t line up perfectly on either side of the white line since he would have to had lifted his pen.

      Given the slight arc to the line I am guessing a hair got in the machine when the print was being transferred to the printing press.

      As a side note – if you look very closely to the left of the page numbers in rooms 1, 3, 10, 13, 35, 41 and especially 42 you can see that Manson originally was going to have the page numbers be a bit larger but changed his mind. This means that these rooms were illustrated first since it is unlikely he somehow messed up the sizing later on.

      Also, if you look closely at Room 24 you can see the canvas guide lines which presumably he drew on every canvas before beginning to illustrate.

  7. We’ve talked about symmetry here before, with the exits to 11 and 6 being notably asymmetrical in a few ways and the text making a deal about disturbed symmetry–but it’s hard to do too much with that, because the entrance to 28 isn’t really symmetrical either.

    The entrance to 16 DOES look pretty symmetrical, though. And the text (for a reason unclear to me) describes the room as being “a large square” one, though it doesn’t seem particularly large or particularly square. 16 is a square number, the only square in the room–thought it’s hard to say why we might think of it as square.

    The bird’s tail, dangling in front of the door to 28, is symmetrical, but that’s a desperation move–the bird isn’t symmetrical, the door isn’t symmetrical…

    Animal parts, symmetry…

    Why does the door to 16 have those rails? They just seem to emphasize the symmetrical construction of that exit, but if symmetry doesn’t matter, then why? Symmetry MATTERS, or it was pretty elaborately made to see matter; so why does symmetry lead us astray?

  8. I don’t like this much, but White Raven might: “One” is mentioned four times in the text. This could represent each horizontal plank of the wooden door back to 28. I’m not big on associating numbers with objects (a la 34) but the appearance of the word one 4 times, especially with the emphasis on the last one, makes me think there’s something up here.

  9. That’s good. Did you catch the page with, “it would”? iT WOuld. That’s what helped me to crack the code of the path.

    • Pretty sure you must mean room 12 there. But I can’t see it has much to do with the riddle. It could be considered a false door indicator perhaps but I would guess in was accidental really.

  10. The statue is called an ‘Atlas’. There is another name for it also, in many pages of notes. It is called an Atlas because it appears to support the stone above it.

  11. So, DG, does the text here indicate our guide is the Raven? If I remember correctly there are three other birds amongst the maze, right? That would be a total of 4 birds.

    • Well, I certainly think it does. “n a ver” is an anagram of Raven. Ravens are thieves and that is the theme of this room. “Perched above my door” is from the Raven poem. But White Raven has not confirmed the identity of the guide that Mr. Manson confirmed to him so there is no “official” solution on this point.

      There are a total of 3 obvious white birds (I think) and 2 pull toys, and yes I think they all provide Raven clues of some sort. There also could be various sorts of hidden birds depending on what you want to count.

    • In a very real way we are all of us animals at least in part. “In a very” “n a ver”. The word “part” in Maze turns out to be a clue to look at parts of words wherever it is found.

  12. pffffff…uhh….

    Part animal, animal part, bird with BACK turned to us with it’s tail touching the door…

    gooooooo baaaaaaaaaaaaaack

  13. Roosting evidently. Their attitude was really beginning to irritate me. “Oo” “tt” “LL” “nn” “rr” then in the rest of the paragraph 5 more doubles. Enough to spell “to ‘ll” three times. Why? Too hard to find to be red herring. Unlikely to be accident. Not correct door. But room 11 also has double letter clues to 40. And both this room and 40 feature crooked signs to 11. We seem to have a very short path of “double letters and crooked 11s” for guide purposes it seems we should connect to room 40.

    • Then actually you have crooked 6 in room 40. Then more double letters in 38 going to 22.

      I’m sure we’ve noticed both 6 and 16 are important guide rooms. And this room links to other bird rooms. so it is sort of “guide central”

  14. “in a very real way we are all of us animals, at least in part”. So OK he is cluing us he is part animal – (and misleading us towards the Minotaur), but that is a rather non-random phrasing. Podcast 5 suggests “part” is “trap” but in 43 it also means to look at parts of words. Is there an animal lurking in that non-random text? “in a very” or smaller “n a ver” = “Raven”.

    As previously noted the “theft” theme is a Raven clue, and the perch abouve the door is obviously from the poem.

  15. Podcast 5 notes that a statue of this sort is called an “Atlas” and there could be some connection, even if fake, to the story of Hercules and Atlas and the theft of the Golden Apples. The text mentions that it would take a lot of strength to move those bricks.

    • Oh, well done! Agreed, we may be looking at a Hercules reference here. Hey! Back in 15 we have the Delphic tripod, another item involving Hercules in its prominent mythology. Alright, let’s start doing the math…

    • Sometimes I wonder if you are pulling my leg. There is a giant anagram on the wall and in a part of the text we know we should be looking for guide clues we find one….

      But I suppose just can decide Herclues made the thump in 15 if you like….

    • I’m not pulling your leg on this one, though I don’t know what we do with it. I don’t think Hercules is Tophat, I don’t think he’s running around undetected, and he seems a pretty poor choice for the Guide. But there is an Atlas here and a mention of great strength, so I don’t know.

      Maybe that apple over in 9 is golden.

    • If the guide could really be found by looking at the pictures and reading the text essentially as straight forward and thinking about Greek mythology – the guides identity would have been clear to all long ago.

      But there are other things going on in Maze. So perhaps there is a thing where you are looking.

    • How about figuring out exactly how Herclues Atlas and theft of those bags/apples? Fits with what we see in the displaced stone arch. What point in the story is represented here exactly and what went down before we came in?

    • Any insights?

      My thought is: sea bag ok has 8 letters.
      The sign under it has 2 digits that sum to two. 2,8 = 28.

    • Two nails in that sign too, which seems to be a meaningful indicator elsewhere.

      A look at the seemingly deliberate asymmetries in the room was the most interesting thing, I think, but there were a few other things suggested here.

      Not terribly intriguing but quite possibly correct is that the bird’s tail (part of an animal) touches the door to 28.

  16. The bird looks to the demon, who looks to the SEA BAG OK…an important chain of clues, because how else are we supposed to know to look at the obviously encrypted message of big letters on the wall?

  17. Sometimes false doors are made to look attractive with false clues. The bird over the door we have to walk though may do sort of the opposite function by making the true door look unattractive to walk through.

  18. Room 35 sends us on a quest to “follow” the birds and a key bit of the clue is the “another one!” in the text here. The bird is “perched above the door” as in the poem “perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door, perched and sat and nothing more”. Not that “Pallas” can also be found in the bird rooms in 44.
    “Another one!” could also be a clue to the fact that the guide is a bird too. The text after that point is also a clue if it is parsed correctly. “People can be so arrogant” is an aside related to “Their attitude was really starting to annoy me”, and they are so arrogant that in the next clause they think he is talking about people. He is not. With the aside removed we have “I have come to think of all of the inhabitants of this House as members of my little kingdom. In a very real way, we are all of us animals, at least in part.” He is talking about himself and the other animals. He can come in humans form or bird form.
    “I would not answer any more of their questions” is the tiniest of clues since Raven was called upon as a guide to clarify difficult questions.
    Now for the statues. The room is supposed to be a cube and this is symmetric. Symmetry is also in the text. Look at the structure at the top, one pillar seems set back and the other forward. The text says “it must have taken a great deal of strength to pull the heavy stones out of position”. Somebody moved the pillars and things. The text says the guests thought someone had stolen the statue, the guide hints there might be a different answer. We right away think that a statue ran away. But that’s not it either. He broke OUT of the trap room (cluing us slightly that escape from the TRAP is possible). He is hiding from us in plain sight. He moved the columns around so he could look like part of the structure. (Maybe the over head guy is his helper too). And those “sea bags” look a lot more like money bags he is trying to get away with now. To reinforce this idea we have “thief” in the text.
    So what can we get from “thief” well Raven is a well know thief, of course.

  19. The bags by the entrance to Room 6 are, apparently, red herrings, meant to mislead people who interpret the “sea bags o.k.” sign to suggest that the bags mark a safe passage.

    Given what birds are famous for doing to things underneath them, it’s hard not to see that roosting bird as an indication that you made the wrong move by walking through that door.

  20. This is one of the rooms that features an imbalance to the left.
    The gaze of the stone figures and the absence of the statue suggest that the statues are alive- one of them broke through the wall.
    The bird is present here. It looks to the stone figures remaining and not the hole.

    • To complete that thought:

      “Go back” seems immediately like a warning against entering room 11 (and thereby the Trap), but it’s applicable to the room in general. The only entrance to room 32 is in room 28, and the quickest route to room 1 is to go back to 28, then back to 23 (i.e. get back on the Path). (28 and 32 are only reachable after 45, so your goal once you’re there is room 1.) Thus, the correct move in 32 is always to go back whence you came.

    • Owen Hammer,

      I bumped up the solve meter long ago but failed to acknowledge your correct solution. Congratulations Owen!

      White Raven


Leave a Reply to Aria Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>