Room 34

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…a middle-class drawing room or parlor. It was amazing how much more comfortable they felt in these surroundings.

Everyone sat down, some on the floor, and chatted about where they had been and where they should go.

“Magpies!” I said to myself. “Not a real thought in their heads.”

They were so much at ease they almost missed what the room was telling them altogether. They finally got the message, which I thought was pretty obvious, and we went on to…

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


Room Type:  LOOP     Doors:  10  25  30


● The “YES” “MAYBE” and “NO” signs refer to the spaces over the doors. There is no sign over the unmarked door. No – you cannot take this door. The 25 sign is hanging by one nail, half up and half down. Maybe – you could take this door. The 10 sign is fully up. Yes – you should take this door. [Credit with a hint: H. Goyteki] [Credit: White Raven] This solution is reinforced by the open arrangement of the doors. The blank space over the unmarked door is the same orientation as the “NO” sign (facing to the left). The “MAYBE” sign is the same orientation (pointed straight at the viewer) as the 25 sign. The “YES” sign is the same orientation as the 10 sign (facing to the right). [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven] Reinforcing this further, the arm of the person leaving (signifying “go”) points up through the “YES” sign to the “10″ sign. [Credit: Dave Gentile] Also the narrow corner of the 10 sign and the narrow corner of the “YES” sign point like an arrow to one another, while the narrow corner of the “MAYBE” sign and the narrow corner of the 25 sign point to one another. [Credit: Aria] [See Related Images]

● On the sign “JIBE PINE COMPASS” all point to the word “needle.” A jibe (not the boating term) is an insulting quip, which is sometimes called a needle. A pine tree has needles, as do compasses. There are three things with eyes — a needle, a potato, the ship in the painting. [Credit: Owen Hammer / Jimmy Williams] The picture on the right is not the Washington Monument but an obelisk known as Cleopatra’s Needle. [Credit: Naomi Alderman] The needle represents the number one while the eye represents a zero. “Needle”&”Eye”=10 the number of the correct door. [Independent Credit: David Gentile | White Raven] Needles have eyes thus every needle reference can be seen as both a 1 and a 0, [Credit: vewatkin]

● The ship in the painting is sailing toward Door 10, the correct door, indicating that we travel in that direction. [Independent Credit: SP | White Raven] The phrase, “…and chatted about where they had been and where they should go.” Is a reference to the ship travelling from the direction of the unmarked door (where they had been) to Door 10 (where they should go). [Independent Credit: vewatkin | White Raven]

● The walking cane labeled “QUICK” which is pointing at door 25 is a hurry-cane/”hurricane” [Credit: Owen Hammer] this warns against entering door 25. [Independent Credit: SP | White Raven] This solution is reinforced by the sailing ship solution above. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven] This may also be reinforced by the night scene picture being behind the stern of the ship, cloudy in the picture of the ship, with light ahead. [Credit: SP]

● The 25 door and unmarked door are both in shaded, whereas the 10 door is lit up in comparison. [Independent Credit: Wanderer | White Raven] Combining this with the solutions above, the sailing ship must go past the hurricane toward the light. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven]

● The downward arrows on the wallpaper and reference in the text to “Everyone sat down, some on the floor…” directs our attention to the floor. There are 10 visible feet on the furniture, indicating door 10. [Credit: vewatkin] The foot of the man leaving draws our attention to the feet of the furniture – this hints that we should “follow the feet.” The chair (in the center) has 8 feet, the furniture on the left or right has one foot each, 8+1+1=10. [Credit: White Raven]

● The stripes on the couch pair with the squares on the pillow to create an approximation of a 10. The line of the monument pairs with the circle of the moon to make a 10. [Independent Credit: David G | White Raven] The line of the mast pairs with the circle of the eye on the ship to make a 10. [Credit: White Raven] The ship’s “mast” is actually a glowing white rope making the 1 more evident. [Credit: vewatkin]

● The lines in the chair pair with the eyes in the potato to make an approximation of 10. [Credit: vewatkin]

● In the text is the word “felt” which is an anagram for “left.” In this room as well as the other two rooms in which the word “felt” occurs (11, 25) the correct door is the the left door. [Credit: Hidden Mystery / Beelzebibble]

● The text reads, “”Magpies!” I said to myself. “Not a real thought in their heads.”" “Magpies” is a reference to the fortune telling device from the 1700s turned nursery rhyme commonly referred to as “One For Sorrow.” [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven]
The line, “Not a real thought in their heads.” may be a reference to the superstitious nature of the rhyme. A popular version of the rhyme reads…
“One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a wedding
Four for a birth
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret not to be told
Eight for a wish
Nine for a kiss
Ten for a bird you must not miss”
The last line refers to not missing a golden opportunity, in this case the correct door, 10. [Credit: White Raven]

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333 thoughts on “Room 34

  1. Why are we talking about the “right” door in a loop?
    As long as we are on the path, there is one right door.
    When we are off the path, then the rightness of the door is not as much a factor.
    There are WRONG doors, (24). But other than doors that lead in a one way fashion to the bad end, the doors are equal until you get to a door which could lead you directly back to the path.

    • Late Comer,

      The author of the book, Christopher Manson, has confirmed the rooms of The Loop a laden with clues that point to the correct doors to take to escape The Loop and return to Room 1.

      In regards to rooms such as 36 and 16 this is a moot point but the clues still appear to be there.

      White Raven

    • Bumping this. Manson confirmed this? Because I remember this was a big point of discussion when we were trying to figure out the loop rooms

    • Very interesting, considering how much debate there is about the extent to which the rooms of The Loop have “solutions”. Though I don’t think that this necessarily confirms that all the rooms of The Loop have clues that direct you to the best door, as we usually think of The Path. One distinction between the two circuits is that when navigating The Path, the reader is given the explicit task of finding the shortest possible route, while such a goal is much less overt for The Loop, if Manson intended it at all. Considering this, and that the choice of door in some rooms is pretty inconsequential, I don’t think we know which door, if any, Manson considered the best in each loop room like we already do for The Path. Plus, there’s the persistent question of the reliability of WR’s interpretations of Manson’s statements.

    • There exists some number of clues pointing the best way (back to 41/1)–the umbrella in 10 points toward 41, anyway, and the back of the book suggests that things pointing the way are clues. There seem to be far more clues pointing the wrong way, though our general ignorance makes that observation dubious.

      Maybe there are just clues pointing all over, since there is no right way. Maybe there are clues to the correct course of action, not always the correct door. (E.g., “start over,” etc.) But inasmuch as we can tell anything about the book, we can tell it is NOT the case that the rooms are elaborate unified puzzles that indicate the best doors to take.

      Determining which door you want to be the answer, and working to interpret the room as a puzzle indicating as much, is demonstrably one of the worst ways to reach plausible conclusions or helpful insights. We are much better off considering the book with an acknowledged ignorance than with assumptions about what the rooms should be telling us. Trying to discern/imagine what EXACTLY Manson said to WR, and what EXACTLY he meant by it, is a useless exercise that gives the illusion of discovery while telling us nothing.

    • All very true…
      In a way, the loop is the most “Maze” area of Maze with the mindset we have to use to think about it… not much is certain and I suppose that’s the idea

    • I’m not talking about what we can agree on, I’m just talking about what we know.

  2. Given the Greek context supplied by the picture of the Argo, has anyone pointed out that in the Greek alphabet, the lower-case letter gamma (the Greek “g”) looks a lot like a Y? Also, the letter B contains within itself the letter I and P. Perhaps this is the way to understand the guide shouting “Magpies!” – MAYBE = MA(G)PIE. The guide is shouting the right answer at us!

    • If that’s the case, do you think either or both of the other two words are also doing double duty? Seems inconsistent.

    • All of the words go with needle, but they also all can connect to a ship (with one in this room). Some old ships are made of pine. They might rely on a compass. So the paper clues both needle and ship? Maybe just another way to say “Follow the ship the way it is sailing – follow its compass needle?”

    • That’s a very good point, I guess it turns out they are doing double duty after all!

    • Dave Gentile,

      1. Please use “reply” in order to reply to people’s comments.

      2. You are certainly right about all three terms relating to ships. I’m sure no one has a problem with “compass” or “jibe” but “pine” sounds a bit forced. Here’s why it is not: Sailing ships were made from a whole variety of woods until it was discovered (in various places at various times) that pine resists rot. By the time just prior to the American civil war (when the first metal “ironclads” were being built) practically all ships were being built almost entirely out of pine and pine tar.

      The answer to this riddle is “needle” but perhaps it does do double duty to indicate the sailing ship, or perhaps the purpose is to hide the real riddle, or maybe it’s just a surprising coincidence.

      White Raven

  3. I’m surprised “jibe” is an issue. “rib” Like semi-humorous criticism. To joke not quite maliciously. “needle” also suggests a uncomfortable joke/jest, like teasing or prompting an action, calling someone “chicken” for example.

    • Dave, I’m not getting any confirmation from a credible source equating jibe to needle. I’ll shut up if someone disproves me. So far it’s been hearsay.

      I’m getting multiple meanings for it (2 nouns and 1 verb) which both point to the ship terminology already discussed here. I really don’t think it’s outrageous that this is its proper context. I mean, if what you guys agreed on (the eyes and needles) is indeed intended, then that’s fine, it’s covered ground, but if it’s not, and jibe does somehow tie into the ship (or something else) would this not be a huge blunder on our part?

      To some, this might seem as me being an annoying horsefly questioning every guess and intention, to me it’s just another fun opportunity to find out more mysteries in the maze. I don’t see the harm!

    • The online Merriam-Webster entries for “needle” and “jibe” seem clear enough. Definition 4 of NEEDLE (“a teasing or gibing remark”); definition 1 of JIBE (“variant of GIBE”).


    • The problem is if the main spelling is GIBE why didn’t he use GIBE? I guess I’m not even saying that the needles and ones don’t equal 10, I’m saying I disagree with the usage of JIBE in the context of equaling quip (and ergo needle), and I don’t think reassessing its role with the other words will unravel any themes.

    • It may well have deliberately been done to create confusion with the boat. Or maybe in the old man books that Manson reads “jibe” is a common spelling. Just as Manson’s readers didn’t have the advantage of the internet to research such details, Manson didn’t either, and “jibe” may not be as arcane in his experience as it is in ours.

    • Well, that’s a possibility but I’m still skeptical. It would be the only word in the whole book that’s not modern. He uses (in the same room) an expression you don’t see in older literature (“pretty obvious”). The other thing the J could be there for is to indicate the cane for some reason (I BE QUICK?).

    • Yeah, I was just hanging with the kids down at the roller rink and they were all like, “Check out my amphorae, dig this bumbershoot, fata viam invenient, baby.”

      Manson had his finger on the pulse of contemporary popular language.

    • You guys are a hoot! There could be too many connections with the words/needles for me to be refuting this, but I still feel like the word paper has something else. The J shaped cane, the J in JIBE’s fishy spelling, the fact that JIBE is the closest word to door 10.

      ..oh yeah, and that BE appears in both JIBE and MAYBE.

      ANYWAY, I’ll stop antagonizing for now and come back later if I feel something rustling.

    • I don’t think it’s misguided to look for more connections; I don’t mean to suggest there isn’t anything else going on. I just don’t think that requires disputing the needle insinuation, and I don’t think that there are any big chinks in the needle armor.

  4. “A jibe (not the boating term) is an insulting quip, which is sometimes called a needle.”

    Can you please site your source for this?

    • The Oxford English Dictionary confirms this, though as it is a subscription service I can’t provide a link.

    • Just to clarify, when I Googled for “jibe needle” the only thing that came up was this site (Good job on the SEO) but the other only definition sites that came up were comments on “how I had heard this used as needle” – nothing official or canonical. EXPLAIN YOURSELF WATKISS!

  5. If I were using a strict and consistant standard, I’d have to say no on “left” = “felt” for right now, but it is close-ish, and it would also make me suspicious enough to search for more evidence along the same lines. So far I’ve not found any. No “girth” for “right” for example.

  6. “comfortable they felt in…”
    ‘FELT’ is an anagram for ‘LEFT’. As in choosing the left door on the page.
    I didn’t check any other rooms yet, but I actually thought about left/felt, then I found it on this page, rather than vice versa.

    • Hmm. It looks like there are two other rooms where “felt” occurs in the text, 11 and 25.

      In 25 you could bolster this idea: the line is “I’ve always felt at home here”, which is as positive as “how comfortable they felt”, and the leftmost door is indeed the correct one.

      But in 11 it seems weird. “I still felt crowded”… Once again, the door on the left is the one we want (even though all we can do is avoid 24), but the negative charge of this statement makes it sound as if we’d want to *avoid* the left door for that reason.

    • Thanks for that research. I’ve always felt that in eleven, we were deliberately told to use both doors. However, twenty-four is a lie because in the following paragraph, he says “Don’t touch that.” Then, “this was not true.” (Also uses ‘gratefully’ where only 40 is closed fully while 24 is partly ajar.)
      Good eye for finding those other two.

    • 3 “felt”s in text and “left” is always right – interesting. But only a little more that 10-1 by random chance.

    • What makes this seem implausible is that even when the word “left” appears directly, the leftmost door isn’t always correct. Same with “right,” “middle”…

      So we have to conclude that when he says directional words they aren’t inherent clues to the right door, but if he uses a word that’s an anagram of a directional word then we do rely on that as a clue, essentially regardless of context.

      And he used the same clue three times, but only those three times the correct door was on the left…

      It’s certainly interesting. I’d be surprised if it weren’t a coincidence, but I’ve been surprised by Manson’s intentions repeatedly.

    • Hidden Mystery and Beelzebibble,

      I am inclined to agree that the felt = left connection is intentional. It’s not a strong clue but it is consistent. Congratulations, good puzzling!

      White Raven

  7. In an attempt to complete the solution—As for the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ doors—In base two, yes means one, and no means zero. Hence, yes + no = 10, the correct door. There you go.

    • I like it, but what is “maybe” in binary? Is it a superposition like Schrodinger’s cat? Fuzzy logic? Maybe we need another axis in the complex plane and it is “i”…or maybe not. :)

    • I think he just means MAYBE is the combination of YES and NO, and ten is 1 and 0 put together. MAYBE doesn’t really mean “yes and no,” more like “yes or no,” but it seems like a small slippage.

    • I understood, yes. I was just taking the thought off in random tangential directions.

    • Vewatkin, David Gentile and Hello Gregor,

      I find this unconvincing but not anathema.

      You three have all noted this… maybe this is a hint I am wrong to be dismissing it. On the other hand none of you have really gone to bat for it either. What say you all, are you all just throwing this out there or are you all convicted about this? If you’re feeling good about it, I’ll put it up.

      White Raven

  8. OK, here goes another one. “Magpies” is an anagram of “PI games”, and if you divide 34 (the room) by PI, you get 10.82…. therefore door 10. What say you, Hecklers? coincidence?

    • Calling that a coincidence is a little generous for this heckler, but man, that magpie thing, it has to be something eh? It’s such a strange thing to say.

    • I’m going to make a note of it. But I vote for it being accidental, at least at the moment.

    • Hmmm…that’s farther from pi than I thought. room 31 and 10 would work better than 34 and 10….better yet room 314 and exit 100 but….

    • WELL, you figure “pi games” doesn’t really mean “divide sokething by pi,” and ten point eight four or whatever doesn’t even really round to ten, and I don’t see a whole lot to hem and haw about here.

      The thing about anagrams is it’s easy to take words and find stilted phrasings that seem applicable in some metaphorical or abstract way, but they’re not generally constructed that way t’other way round. That is to say, it’s virtually unthinkable to most human beings that Christopher Manson said, “Hm, 34 is somewhat close to 10 x pi, and 10 is the correct room. How can I clue the readers into this? Well, I guess you might say that by multiplying 10 and pi, or dividing 34 by pi, we are…playing GAMES. Games with PI, we might say. Yes, pi games! Now, I don’t want to come right out and mention pi; then it would be too obvious that the reader is supposed to pick a number and divide it by pi and then round the decimal in the wrong direcrion. So how can I…ah…yes! An anagram! Magpies! That’s a completely fair puzzle solution that makes sense and that people would acknowledge as real and intended even without knowing ahead of time which door was correct!”

      That’s right, I’ve declared myself spokesperson for most human beings.

    • Vince – to clarify my position – I originally thought it was just an accident But maybe interesting enough to keep a record of in case something more turned up. But as I went to record it I concluded it was not even as strong as I thought. So I was sort of hinting I was not going to add it to my page while not directly saying that. Subtlety failed.

    • Nah, you were clear, and I think KT’s own skepticism was apparent from the get-go too. I guess I was just vocalizing a general problem with anagram digging.

    • I started to write that the. Anagram added nothing to just “pi” in the word which is only a two character string which is very easy to do and then I noticed the ratio was not as close to pi as I thought even so I abandoned the entry.

  9. As long as we’re going crazy on 1s and 0s (and why not?), take a look at the the missing door handle on the NO door. Huh, huh?


    They were so much at ease they almost missed what the room was telling them.

    And what do we have on the 25 sign but a RIP? A R I P? Aaaaaaaa R.I.P.?


    means you miss the room’s solution

    also that you’re dead

  10. ● The Yes and No doors are both in shadow, whereas the Maybe door is blinding in comparison. [Independent Credit: Wanderer | White Raven] [Note: This solution is incomplete]

    Magpies are noted, at least in folklore, for their attraction to shiny objects.

  11. ● The ship in the painting is sailing toward Door 10, the correct door, indicating that we travel in that direction. [Independent Credit: SP | White Raven] [Note: This is a partial solution]

    “…where they had been and where they should go…”

    • You could go even further and say that “where they had been” is refering to the ship “coming from” the NO door.

  12. The three obvious clues in this room are all lying to us:

    * Top hat is walking through 25
    * The YES sign on 25
    * The hurry cane pointing to 25

    I am not sure there are many rooms that have as many false clues as this. You got 30 with all the objects pointing to the wrong doors, but 30 is more of an odd man out principle since it has more than 2 choices.

    Raven are you sure you have looked over ALL the comments? I’ve come up with some solid ones in other rooms.

  13. Cleopatra’s Needle, an ancient Egyptian obelisk…

    In Egyptian mythology, the Moon was the EYE OF HORUS…

    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…

    I’ve adopted “eyes and needles” as a phrase that equates to “frustratingly insufficient solution.” I made a fairly lengthy post on this page explaining why I thought it was an unsatisfying solution.

    Well, I’m not going to say I love it now, but I had something of an epiphany yesterday, it’s not that I’m really seeing anything new on this page, but I’m just seeing the needles and eyes in a new way, a way that seems plausible and addresses the concern I had about it before.

    First, I don’t think it is about needles and eyes. I don’t know the exact phrasing of Manson’s confirmation, but I think the needles are just part of the 1-clues going on here and, more importantly, you don’t have to combine objects to get 1s and 0s. This means you don’t have to ignore the fact that needles have eyes in order to see them as 1s and then combine them with eyes that look like 0s; Gentile was right about that. Everything in the room that clues to an eye has an associated 1 to go with it.

    [What follows is not, I don't think, in any sense new, though I don't recall seeing the information organized so as to suggest that every eye had its corresponding 1 without arbitrarily matching things across the room.]

    So, the JIBE PINE COMPASS, that’s easy, it gives us a needle and needles have eyes.

    The couch, stripes and concentric squares, we’ve addressed it, I’ve mocked it, but it’s legit, that is meant to suggest 1 and 0s; in a way the pillow gives us a bullseye, which is in better keeping with all the other eyes in the room.

    “But the chair is striped too!” Yeee-ep, and what do we see on there? The potato, with any number of eyes on it. Do the number of eyes and stripes match? No, it doesn’t look like it, but come on, settle down, it’s a bunch of eyes and a bunch of 1s.

    The hurry-cane, the problem there is that it seems a stretch to call a J-shaped can a 1. And maybe this is still a stretch, but it’s hard to ignore that good, long, 1-looking handle, so can we say that what’s going on here is that the cord that is tied to the can separates the shaft from the handle, giving us the 1 we need? Well, I’m saying it, like it or not.

    Argo, eye and mast? Does that seem like a cheat? Well, that isn’t the mast you’re seeing in front of the sail, it’s just a rope that connects to the mast. There are lots of ropes on that ship; do you see them all? What they are is thin black lines. What this rope is is a thicker white line contrasted against a black sail. It ain’t too farfetched, it’s there.

    Then we have the old Cleopatra’s Needle, as mentioned above. It works as a needle, sort of, except this is a needle without an eye, though that may be an unimportant technicality. The addition of the moon, as an Egyptian mythological reference, isn’t likely to help anyone who didn’t already recognize that as Cleopatra’s Needle. But it’s there, it fits. My question here is whether it’s also there as a handout to people who don’t catch those references (i.e. everybody). Is it a strained 0 to go with a 1? I don’t know, maybe.

    As I say, I don’t think there’s anything new there, but I hadn’t seen it all put together, and when you see everything in the room as a 1 and an eye, it’s a much more effective solution for my tastes.

    OH, one more thing: Did you notice that there are ten tacks/nails holding up signs in here? Iiiiiiiiit’s true, and we’ve learned from other rooms that that often means something. Interestingly, there are five signs, each held up by two tacks, which could be an indicator of 2-5—–EXCEPT that the 25 sign is ripped apart, so we actually have SIX pieces of paper, four held up by two nails, and two held up by one each. It seems like a clever way to keep a reference to 10 intact while disrupting a clue to 25.

    • vewatkin,

      The eye of Horus. This is problematic. Cleopatra’s Needle is from the New Kingdom period during which time the moon god was Thoth. During the time of Cleopatra the moon was the goddess Khonsu who was seen as the embodiment of Diana by the Romans. The Horus myth (before sun and moon gods were invented) is earlier than both. Further confusing matters, Cleopatra’s name “Cleopatra Selene” means “moon.” Did Manson see the eye of Horus here? I would like to think so, it certain fits the theme of the room, but it’s hard to say. Perhaps we have a choice of either “Cleopatra’s needle” or “the eye of Horus” as intentional? Great investigative work!

      Ten nails…well there are five signs so of course there are ten nails. If a sign had an unusual number I would buy it.

      The needles equaling ones AND zeros. I keep going back and forth on this one. I give up, I am putting it on the summary.

      You’re right, what I took for a frontal second mast is clearly a glowing white rope – changing the summary.

      The lines in the chair going with the eyes in the potato. Nice!

      White Raven

    • Haha, I think my investigative work consisted mostly of googling “moon + eye,” reading twenty-five words about Egyptian mythology and then saying “good enough.”

      Seriously, though, I don’t know how much I would sweat the discrepancies in Egyptian eras and mythologies. The same way that I don’t think the fact that the poster in Room 15 mixes Greek and Roman mythological heroes means anything special; that Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders is the product of the common depiction of the titan, rather than his actual mythology, has any deep significance; or that the Wandering Boot of Belkardarfask is depicted in Room 38 as having strings instead of buckles is anything but a meaningless oversight; I don’t see any problem with saying, “Meh, Egyptian stuff.”

      ORRRRRRR it’s there to be a C, to go along with the SEA, and all the SEEing those eyes are doing, for some REASON.


      Ok, so we know there’s this eye/aye thing that is suggestive of the YES door, but the right door is MAYBE. Is there anything suggestive of NO, such that we would say it could be either yes or no (MAYBE)?

    • I think the eye aye yes connection is a coincidence. The yes-maybe-no riddle I am aware of doesn’t involve “aye.”

      You could be right about the Eye of Horus, yet another thing I would like to ask Manson some day. Great googling work!

    • Wanderer

      Correct! …but incomplete. Putting it on the summary.

      White Raven

    • Oh, heck, just combine it with the eyes, sight, seeing…whatever the three blind mice clue was supposed to be.

    • Jason is not mentioned in this room…but I’ve linked the chairs now, and other things and Argo and Jason link, so there is another link to 15.

      To get NAUT using the donut-hole method it would be better if we had both Argo and Argonauts. and then we could “subtract” them.

      It’s clever. I can’t be very sure it is a thing though, at least not yet. Was Jason himself an Argo-naught?

      Yes, I think it is a thing. Wow. lol

  14. The Argo had this magical talking prow thing that could tell the argonauts where to go. That’s a good reason to follow where the ship leads–but I don’t see this ship pointing to 10 like the top of fhe page says. Its prow seems pretty clearly directed at the number 25 there. You could argue that the angle of the ship will cause it to go past 25, but that makes this a pretty rare instance of three-dimensional directionality trumping the two-dimensional. Also, LOOK, it’s pointing right at the 25.

    AYE, AYE, Cap’n! Full speed ahead to the wrong door!

    • The ship points at 10 I think. But that nose bit does point at 25. Not fully sure it is the Argo. They had boats at Troy too. Etc…

    • Actually nose bit points far right of 25 in 2D. But the keel of ship is right at 10 in 2D.

    • We’re assuming Argo because of depictions of the boat similar to the one here, including the eye. It could be that this was a common feature of boats at the time. (The time being some fictional era in mythological Greece.)

    • Well if the Argo had an eye then that would do it. Other than that it is a Greek sailing vessel called a trireme.

    • Ok. Argo was this name of a many eyed creature in Greek myth. Ship was named after creatue it seems. So it makes sense it would have an eye painted on it. Also well a many eyed creature is very fitting here. So then the prophetic prow is a reason to trust its course.

    • The builder of the Argo was named Argus, which also happened to be the name of bajillion-eyed monster, but I don’t think the ship’s name had anything to do with the monster.

      The way this stuff got confused, though, even by the Greeks, I don’t know, maybe they were connected at some point. Argus Bajillion-Eyes was sort of a symbol of vigilance, so maybe there’s a connection there.

  15. Interesting…

    The “NO” door comes from room 30, where the door to 34 is ornate and flanked by the letters O and U. Particularly as they are depicted there, the O and U, viewed upside-down, spell “no.”

  16. Last bit of food for thought – what if by accident a puzzle solution exists that is as good or better than ones Manson intended. To what extent is that a “right” solution? Just philosophical food for thought there.

    • It is 0% right, but it might be impossible to tell that. There’s really no practical difference between the right solution and something that is, by all appearances, the right solution.

      We may even have some of those, in fact…

      Well, a counter-example to what I just said may be in Room 4: my suggestion that the previous door to Room 15 means that you know 15 isn’t the right door here. Whether Manson intended that reasoning, I don’t know (I suspect so, for blah blah blah reasons, but whatever), but even if he didn’t, it’s deductively accurate that going to 15 from 4 (on the way in) can’t be part of the 16-step path, provided you’ve been on the path. Which means that whether Manson intended it or not, it IS in fact a viable solution to the puzzle of which door to take first.

      Interestingly, a similar kind of reasoning takes hold in in 37, and is almost certainly NOT intended by Manson: If you’ve made it there along the path, then you’ll know you only have two steps left to reach 1. Knowing which four rooms 1 connects to (because we’ve been there), we know that our second-to-last step has to be one of those rooms. The only choice that can be correct here is 20. (Should have had a door to 21 to through you off the trail!)

      That requires a bit of meta-mazing that isn’t immediately obvious, though, which is that one-way connections always have unmarked entrances in the destination. Otherwise, there could be a a dozen rooms that lead to 1 without you ever knowing.

      So, I don’t know, nevermind? Maybe?

    • It’s pure semantics, so you can make your call on the answer to that question; that makes it a real philosophical inquiry, alright. As my buddy Dr. Lewis Powell says about philosophy:

      “And my concern there is that the philosopher believes they are actually asking deep questions about nature, and to the scientist it’s, ‘What are you doing? Why are you wasting your time? Why are you concerning yourself with the meaning of “meaning”?’”

    • I’m sure we will have missed solutions and found unintended ones at the end of this process., yes. Unavoidable. There will be some type I errors and some type II error unless Manson issues a solution book, which I doubt he will ever do.

  17. One thing for sure is a matter of preference here, however, at least to some extent. Where do you set the thresh hold for accepting and rejecting a solution? I keep it set rather low. That’s going to let in a bad one on occasion, but I’ll sort them out when It’s all done, right now it is all about finding them for me. If it is set too high, you won’t get any where. There is no perfect line, I would guess. Any line you set is either going to let in a false here and there or exclude trues. Type I an type II errors in the stat business. You can’t simaltaneously eliminate both.

  18. Also, I don’t think the 1′s and 0′s are the best solution. I fully buy them as one solution. But “The aye’s have it” meaning the J with tag is alphanumeric 10, uses all of the eyes/I’s as a unified whole. It’s the most elegant, in my mind. Not the ONLY but the best, IMO.

  19. Regarding simple being wrong, let’s refine that to say it is relative. 25 is an exception, but then there is nothing else there. That’s it’s trick in a way. That CANT be right, it’s too simple.

    In room 28, there are more numerous and more complex indicators for room 45 than 23, by principles used elsewhere that should be the exit Manson intended.

    26 – as discussed, the easiest thing is follow the tail, the harder thing is find the bell or even harder the calculator pad.

    In 1 – again the easy solution is see story in text and go to door marked “story” the hard one of the set is to make A BELL from FABLE and the Letter on the ground.

    In 29, turning the book upside down is not an all that easy thing. Just clear once you do it.

    SO, I will give you 25 as a deliberately tricky exception, perhaps. But, the rule is pretty universal in Maze. False doors are indicated by 1 very easy clue, true doors by bunches of hard methods.

    “Odd one in” is a way to go about some of these rooms, but what it really amounts to is saying we found a set of bad door clues, so without even working out the good door clues we know which way to go.

    In room 1, besides FABLE, there is the arrow on the easel pointing to what can be a C. There is also Stare decisis when you have cleaned up everything else in the room. Finding “Story” “Late” and “nary” in the text is only finding bad indicators for 3 doors here. It primes you wrong for hard puzzles in Maze I think if you see room 1 that way.


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