Room 41

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…a room with a special piece of furniture I thought might appeal to my guests.

“How can we trust that thing?” one remarked. “Who knows where it ends up…”

I knew, naturally, but that wasn’t the point. They were pretty sure of themselves, and went right on to…

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


Room Type: LOOP     Doors: 1  10  35  38


● The picture of the frog and a fly is a sign that taking the slide is a trap, which it is. [Credit: R. Serena Wakefield]

● The checkered floor, ladders and the chute recalls the classic board game Chutes and Ladders.  Winning Chutes and Ladders requires reaching the square marked 100. [Independent Credit: Kon-Tiki | White Raven] The doll in the picture on the wall is pointing to it’s wide open eyes which look like two zeros, combined with the “1″ of Door 1 this gives us 100 the winning space – indicating 1 as the correct door. [Credit: Kon-Tiki] The doll’s dress recalls the illustrations of girls in dresses in the version of the game in circulation in 1985. The bow on the doll’s head recalls the blue ribbon image on square 100. [Independent Credit: Marianne | White Raven]

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145 thoughts on “Room 41

  1. Textual observations for this room plus some other BS -

    It’s one of the shortest dialogues in the whole maze, so there wasn’t much for me to do here. I think at this point it’s a fair assumption to make that the guide is subtly trying to lead the visitors to their doom (some people might find fault with this statement); therefore, when he says he “thought [the slide] might appeal to his guests”, it should be a pretty obvious warning to stay away from it. Could relate back to how he refers to himself as the maze’s architect – if he placed the slide there on purpose because he thought it might lure people into the trap?

    Ok, next, the visitors seem pretty hesitant about the slide: ““How can we trust that thing?” one remarked. “Who knows where it ends up…””. However, when they left the room, they were “pretty sure of themselves”. We can assume the guide said nothing to change their minds, because, well, he doesn’t. If they were hesitant about the slide yet confident in their choice of door, this should be a pretty obvious textual clue to avoid the slide. This could also be applied to the ladder to 35, which would save them some time by avoiding the loop. This is two rooms now (just finished looking at 14) where the implied choice of the visitors in the text ends up being the correct door(s).

    Mushrooms – “mush” means go, so “go room” 1. Sorry, this one was so laughably stupid I just had to put it.

    I can’t see the feet of the toad with these low-res images, but they look like the feet of a horned toad (horned lizard). So does the mouth. Or maybe all toads and lizards look the same. Either way, the horns in the doorway to room 10 could be a warning in association with the fairly obvious “fly in a trap” clue leading you away from 38.

    Another use of the word “natural(ly)” here, which takes us away from the synthetic picture of the frog/fly and towards the real, living, natural mushrooms. Reinforced by the fact that he says naturally after saying “I knew” (but wouldn’t say). He knows the correct door, but he won’t say it. Am I beginning to sound like David Gentile? Maybe that’s my cue to stop.

    Oh yeah, the doll has hollow legs, I don’t like that.

  2. Maybe the doll is just telling us to look? In any case there are three times where one thing is by itself different from other similar things. One mushroom separate from the others in the box. One door number (35) on the floor separate from the others on the wall. One horn (under the doll) separate from the others in the doorway of room 10. I know that ignores the snakes and ladders theme but I feel like it’s really hard to signal 1 via 100 without signalling 10. So this is my attempt haha!

  3. Maybe that idol is really just a mess of centre/target meanings, telling you that door 1 is your target if you want to get to your goal. Because it is beside door 1. We have:

    An actual target/bullseye
    X marks the spot
    A navel (meaning centre, e.g., “navel of the world”)
    Ten (X again) button mushrooms (one meaning of “button” is “target”) in trough
    A mushroom pointing to the little toe — still stuck on the “little piggy going wee wee all the way home” interpretation, but it could also be pointing to the toenail… meaning hitting the “nail” on the head? Urgh…

  4. Buttons.

    Belly button
    Button mushrooms
    “Button” nose (on doll)
    “Cute as a button, bright as a button” — both expressions used to describe children, perhaps clued by the doll, which is neither, but whatever
    “Frog” fastening — a specific kind of button and loop — in fact fly in pic kind of looks like braiding on one of these — Google it
    “On the button” meaning “right on target” (bullseye)
    Both brass and horn are materials commonly used for buttons (brass horns)

    This seems like rather a lot of button-related references.

    Perhaps they are in search of a buttonhole? Is that what number one is?

    I don’t know. Just saying, seems like a lot of buttons.

    • The two-circle bullseye could also be relating to the game of curling, in which the target has two coloured concentric circles defining four circles total. In curling, the goal is to get as many rocks as possible to the centre circle, or “button.” (I think?)

      Funny thing about curling is that the target area is also called a “house.”

      Did you hear me? I said A HOUSE

    • So MAYBE all these button references are just there to help you get the curling thing and see that the target represents the HOUSE itself, and that if you want to get to the BUTTON, or centre of the house, which is in fact what we are trying to do, you need to take the door associated with that reference…?

    • And here’s something else… you can consider this the “B-room” because you take the bottle door to get here from Room 1. BROOM! HURRY HARD!

      It’s probably all ridiculous, but thanks for letting me buttonhole you with this idea nevertheless.

    • There’s also that children’s game: “Button, button, who’s got the button.” Perhaps that is what the idol is concealing in its hands?

  5. I came up with something I thought was pretty good, and then got yawned at because apparently it was already pointed out LONG LONG AGO in the Mazecast for this room. However I don’t see it here. So, to spare anyone else going through the same shame and disappointment, here it is:

    There are ten mushrooms in the trough, connecting them with the toes. There is a mushroom pointing to the little toe. In the well-known children’s counting rhyme, the little toe is associated with this line: “This little piggy went wee! wee! wee! all the way home.”

    So if we’re supposed to be like the littlest piggy, we should go back “home” — which in MAZE is Room 1.

  6. Did anyone else think that this was the first room you’re supposed to go into? In the prologue I noticed the bottle emblem on the door, not to mention the quarter circle of light. When you flip to page one, there is a bottle emblem and quarter circle of light, identical to the one in the prologue, on the door leading to room forty one.

  7. If you think of the slide as flat on the paper the right side makes an 8 but the left side does make a damn thing, don’t even try it leads to despair.

  8. The crossed arms on the totem/sarcophagus/whatever. That’s a position associated with death. (E.g., mummies, positioning of bodies in coffins, masonic rituals relating to death — even down to the left arm being over the right.) So maybe it’s a kind of sequence: the bullseye is the moment of death, the crossed arms are preparation for burial, the navel is a hole for burial, and then you have a coffin-shaped thing full of mushrooms = decay.

    Or maybe it’s just a collection of death-related things.

    All this to signify you have hit a dead end and should go “back” — in the direction of the back of the statue — towards door 1.

  9. [x] [O]

    [10] [0]


    If you turn the page sideways, so that you read the markings on the totem from left to right as XO, you can pull those shenanigans I just did, but it also puts the totem on the top-left of the “gameboard,” where the 100 space should be.

    Unrelated, but who wants to make a separate comment: I count ten mushrooms in the trough, one outside of it. Confirmation?

    • Separate comment anyway: It actually looks ambiguous to me, because there are two bits of mushroom towards the bottom that may be the cap and stem of the same mushroom or may be two different mushrooms.

    • That’s what I count too.

      The sideways totem thing is fun. But then what do we make of the navel dot?

    • Vewatkin,

      View related images for confirmation of 10 mushrooms in the trough. :)

  10. Plenty of horns –> horn of plenty –> mushrooms (edible) –> door 1? (But then how do you know it leads in that direction and not the other way.) On a related note, doll’s eyes are a plant with berries that are poisonous to people but edible to birds.

  11. Watched YOUTUBE Room 41 last night-helped me solve this today: During discussion of the frog/fly, it occurred to me the frog would have to leap out of the picture (leap frog) to get the fly-when he does he would be jumping on the checker board-to win checkers you jump opponents pieces on your way to their end of the board (the doll’s end) with the goal of landing on opponents first horizontal row and say “King Me” – in which case you have a King.
    Checker has a double meaning here ( check‘er-her) (the doll) – she is pointing to her eyes (I). We now have ‘THE KING AND I’ reinforced by the original literary work “Anna and the King of Siam”. Rag doll+Raggedy Ann=Anna. People from Siam are called Siamese, cluing again to my multiple personality people in this case (Siamese TWINS) running around in MAZE. I would say the “I” is Room #1.

  12. Episode 400,000 went up tonight. SP or Vince will post the link when it’s ready, no doubt. And there just happened to be a NEW GUEST.

    Dave and Marianne have described the pattern on the statue’s face as a bullseye, but apparently I’m the first one to suggest the following? Maybe it’s as simple as reading the bullseye as “Correct – on target” and reasoning from that to the nearest door, 1.

    FURTHER PROOF: I noticed the text contains the word “reMARKed”, as in “you’ve hit the mark”, as in “bullseye”. And then Vince noticed that it’s “RE-MARKED”, as in it’s time to hit the mark AGAIN, as in it’s time to GO BACK TO ROOM ONE


    Also, this is super minor, but White Raven, there should be a comma after “knew”. Right now, instead of “I knew, naturally”, you have “I knew naturally”, which, given Manson’s propensity for wordplay, might open up a whole new slew of possibilities that he probably didn’t intend. (“What does it mean to know things naturally? It means you didn’t learn them from books! AND THE MINOTAUR CAN’T READ”)

    • Wow, solved the room and the riddle of the guide in one night. Well done, Cluemaster Beelz.

    • Thanks for the edit, Beelzebibble! That missing comment really messed with the meaning.

    • Link:

      Hopefully that’s doesn’t cross paths with a link posted by Alex.

      As Beelz mentioned, there’s a new commentator on this show. That could be you next time! Think about it! Doesn’t it look like we’re all having a great time? Watch this episode and tell me we’re not.

  13. The idol reminds me of one of those carnival games where you knock over a target with a ball or an air gun and it falls back on its hinges, and then you win a 7 foot tall pink teddy bear. No solution here, just a comment, did that game have a name?


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