Room 38

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…a narrow space where one wall boasted half-finished carvings and another some sort of carnival poster. There was a little confusion as we made our entrance but we soon sorted ourselves out.

It was impossible to climb up the slippery slide and another door wouldn’t open for us, so after emptying the pebbles from our shoes, we marched on to…

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


Room Type: TRAP   Doors:  22  26  40  41  43


● The carnival poster is a pictorial anagram for “no escape.” NOSE+APE+C (“See” = C) rearranged spells NO ESCAPE. [Independent Credit: David G | Beelzebibble | White Raven]

● The single boot is lost suggesting the group is lost as well. Its partner may be the boot from Room 42. [Credit: a collective assumption]

● The comment in the text, ““It was impossible to climb up the slippery slide and another door wouldn’t open for us…” is a subtle hint that this is a trap room. [Independent Credit: Hello Gregor | White Raven]

● The rooms of The Trap can be laid out like a two-prong key. The broken key is a map of The Trap. The break is telling us to stay on the handle side away from Room 24 (The Abyss). [Independent Credit: vewatkins | White Raven] The unfinished (broken looking) doorway leads to the bad prong end of the key. [Credit: vewatkins]

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78 thoughts on “Room 38

  1. This is just a random observation, but the image of the loop is shaped like a key, and the door by the poster of the ape has a broken key above it. I feel that it’s a way of telling us that we broke our only key to our way out.

    • Certainly possible, but it is important to remember that the image for the loop, as well as all diagrams made for this puzzle, weren’t created by Manson. It is my belief that the creator of the image just happened to arrange the rooms in a keylike formation.

    • It is necessary to keep in mind that the map drawn to represent the loop wasn’t made by Manson himself, making it difficult to connect its appearance with the solution to the puzzle. After all, the mapmaker could have rearranged the rooms in any manner they’d like when originally creating the image, and the resemblance would be wholly lost. Certainly an interesting observation, however!

    • I think they meant to say the map of the Trap looks like a key.

  2. I may have something to contribute here. The face over the door has no mouth and the sign says SEE. I realize now that this is part of nose C ape but it could also be saying that we should be looking as well. The open flap of the boot forms an arrow pointing to 43.

  3. The slide in this room is the same slide from Room 41, which leads here. The remaining unmarked door is probably the door that comes from the one-way path from Room 26, which is the other way to get to this room besides coming back through three marked doors that lead to and from other parts of the Trap.

  4. “So we made our way, downwards, over the landslide of stones, that often shifted beneath my feet, from the unaccustomed weight. I went thoughtfully, and he said: ‘Perhaps you are contemplating this fallen mass of rock, guarded by the bestial anger that I quelled a moment ago. I would have you know that the previous time I came down here to the deep Inferno, this spill had not yet fallen. But, if I discern the truth, the deep and loathsome valley, shook, not long before He came to take the great ones of the highest circle, so that I thought the universe thrilled with love, by which as some believe, the world has often been overwhelmed by chaos. In that moment ancient rocks, here and elsewhere, tumbled.”

  5. Related to Aria’s discovery of “sly devil” on the title page, the stone carvings here are reminiscent of the Devil card in Tarot (one large figure overhead, with a woman on the left below and a man on the right)… no? Just me?

    • Shit, I searched this room for “devil” comments, should’ve searched the Guide page too!

    • It’s discussed at length on the ‘Cast too. WHICH IS THE APPROPRIATE PLACE FOR THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE, BEELZ.


    • Why should you attribute any importance to so grotesque an object?

  6. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, but just noticed that the text mentions everything you can see in this room except for the doors to 22 and 43, which are equally good doors to take here.

    “…one wall boasted half-finished carvings and another some sort of carnival poster..
    …slippery slide…
    …another door wouldn’t open for us…
    …pebbles…shoes [RE boot]…”

    Everything is mentioned but the wall with doors to 22/43 and those doors themselves.

  7. Just looking for things that indicate 38 in terms of trefoils.

    The fly in 41.

    Bell and jars in 43 overarching ladder to 38.

    Trident in 22 and 26.

    Don’t really see anything in 40 to indicate 38 in this way.

    Know some of this has been said already.

  8. Maybe it has already been thought, but I like to (imagine?) a link between the pi door in the prologue with this one. This door sort of looks like a rough, unfinished version of a pi sign, which could be finished with the tools as previously mentioned on the title page.

    Having said that, I can come up with “pi-see” (“see” from the poster)…ok…fish? Makes me think of the disappearing red fish on the cover.


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