Room 42

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…the next room.

In one corner a savage animal appeared ready to leap out, roaring, rending with tusk and claw…but it was only a bit of taxidermy after all.

I suggested they might wish to hang up their coats before going on.

“How will we find them?” one asked. “We might not pass through here again.”

I assured them I would help them to return. “You can count on me,” I said sincerely. Still, they wouldn’t leave anything behind.

Opening one of the doors we made our way to…

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


Room Type: PATH     Doors: 4  22  25  30  37


● The correct door is 4. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path in this room is “bear” (referring to “the animal”). [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.]

● On three of the doors are pairs, a pair of scissors, a pair of dice, and a pear. The non-pair (the salt and pepper shaker set) is the correct door – 4. [Credit: Slala]

● There are three somewhat hidden “four”s in this room. 4 boots in a group, 4 bear feet, and the mislabeled bottom dice that adds up to 4. [Credit: Beq S.]

● “Sinners this way” refers to door 30 (the animal is pointing behind itself), which is the incorrect door. [Credit: Hello Gregor] [Note: This is half of the solution.]

● In the text it says, ““You can count on me,” I said sincerely.” “On me” is four letters, indicating Door 4. Thus when the guide is sincerely helping when he says, “You can count ON ME.” [Independent Credit: Dnutz | White Raven] This is hinted at by the phrases bracketing the clue, “I assured them I would help them return.” and “Still they wouldn’t leave anything behind.” To anyone who has played MAZE for long it is obvious that the Guide is not going to help them return and the visitors are correct to keep their coats with them. The addition of the thought-word “sincerely” in the midst of the Guide’s deception puts the clue in high relief. [Credit: White Raven]

● The bear paws in the picture above the doors are angled oddly, the back two are acute angles while the front two feet are right angles. The shape of the feet may be suggestive of the shape of the “4″ on door 4. The shape of the left feet make the left side of the 4, while the right feet make the right side of the 4. [Credit: Aria] [See related images]

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139 thoughts on “Room 42

  1. GamingNight sees an “IV” in the umbrella/cans in the umbrella stand. I’m not sure I see it. Does anyone else?

  2. re: vewatkin post in Room 23-
    The elephant (foot) here has the following qualities: taxidermy, TUSKS, and the bells that are hung on an elephant are called “elephant CLAW bells”…and remember the dice here are “loaded”.
    p.s. Wish I would have said “perpendicularly laid”.

  3. The dice pictured are improperly marked, you might say they are loaded, as taxidermy implies loaded/stuffed. They show 10 pips-opposite sides of a die should total 7-that could cause us to equate 10-7=3 or Door #37.

    Tusk and claw = original dice are made of bone or ivory. Also the “pass” is a major component of playing craps. (pass mentioned in narrative).

    Salt & Pepper shakers are called a pair-that is the proper term “a pair of salt & pepper shakers. They are also called the 2 hole & the 3 hole or the 3 hole & the 5 hole. But notice here we have a pepper grinder so there are no holes for that thing to consider.

    • This is interesting and I think new:

      “Tusk and claw = original dice are made of bone or ivory. ”

      I don’t think we’ve every gotten around to the idea of “rolling the bones” in connection with the dice and the ivory – although ivory is not exactly bone, and “bones” for dice is more familiar than ivory, so hmmm…. not sure if that goes anywhere.

      Regarding the dice here and numbers he says we can “count on him” and I do think we are suppost to count in this room. 1,2,3…4 is the door. (One die shows a 1,2,3 and the other die totals to 4). And there are other ways to count 1,2,3,4 in the room.

  4. The bear’s sign reminds me of the 4 Last Things — death, judgment, heaven, & hell. “Salt & Pepper” is reminiscent of “St. Peter,” who is often portrayed as holding the keys to heaven.

  5. I assured them I would help them to return. “You can count on me,” I said sincerely. Still, they wouldn’t leave anything behind.

    “Count on me” has always been associated with Room 37. Do you think the “help them to return” could be in regard to 37 being part of the return trip to 1?

    “Wouldn’t leave anything behind” seems overboard, though, in describing where the group actually went, if it’s in reference to the bear/s. Only 37 is in front of both bears, and 4 is notably right behind the one in the painting.

    • The coat touches the door, the rack points to 37…there’s a lot of suggestion that 37 is involved in the return? WHICH IT IS.

  6. Or since it is the only “saint-side” door without bear feet over it, perhaps we should bring our feet to door 4. Or since “that” has 4 letters we could read “saints 4-way”.

  7. The 4 feet over the door are paired and not paired – perhaps an indicator for the not-quite-a-pair shaker/grinder.

    • Square bear pair. All rhyme. 37 on that wall is one greater than a square. But maybe the one lone boot helps indicate that.

  8. I said I thought I knew what the publishers made him change, and Manson replied:

    the change the publisher insisted on was the title of the book as I wanted to call it “Labyrinth” but there was a movie of the same name at that time so it was changed to avoid confusion;

    Dave’s thought’s: We knew that part. I thought Raven said there was something else that changed. Maybe by more mutual agreement than insistance? I don’t know. It does not completely rule out what I suggested, but I’ll change my page to reflect the comment, and that it just may be my own MAZE re-design going on there.

  9. I believe both doors to the left of the bear are sinner doors and all 3 to the right are saint doors. 30 leads to the Adam room. And 22 is a trap room. And actually I believe this is something the publishers had Manson change. Rather than 22 this door was supposed to be 24. And then in room 4 there would be a door to 22. I think the switch was made because the bear directing sinners to darkness was too hell-like. That messes up the puzzle here a bit and also makes a completely arbitrary door to 24 in room 4. It also messes up the Tree of Life diagram Manson built into the MAZE. (See introduction).
    What about the saints? Well, as mentioned S & P can be Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Then door 37 has a pair of dice (paradise) and you find that inside. I might add that since all things there are water related the dice might be “holy water”. There is even something there we could relate to Jacob’s ladder and an assent to Heaven. But what about 25? While most bare/crown references are completely about Raven, I think the references in that room pull double duty and also point to St. Christopher. Christopher means “Christ barer” and the crown can be taken to represent Christ and King of Kings.

  10. They wouldn’t leave anything behind – look behind the sign. The bear foot is skeletal. More connection to 31.

  11. When the Guide says, sincerely, that he’ll help them return, perhaps this is simply because the correct path does not return here; essentially, he’s saying he will try to drive them off course so that they have to come back through here again.

    Alternately, if the Guide is in fact Tophat, or Mr. Yes, or both, or someone else who’s stomping around defying time and space–this room does contain the top hat, the canes, the umbrella–it could be that in following the trail of the other maze-walker, you are brought back to 42.

    • S and P

      Could correspond to 2 major saints – Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

  12. Finally we have an “uber-room-solution” here:
    Given all the Pairs in the room it is clear we are looking at a pair of dice and we should read “paradise” this is one of the very few things Manson actually confirmed he did in Maze. The one shoe is lost, much as the one in 38 is, and perhaps the hat is also lost as is perhaps the one in 18. We should read “paradise lost” and note that we have just left the “Adam/Eve/apple” room and Milton’s story involves them getting kicked out of paradise. Don’t bother pulling out your copy of Milton, however. From above the elephant foot and the things in it should give us “ivory” and with the pare thing right there, and “tusks” in text “ivory elephant tusks”. And in this context the “coat” is an animal hide.
    Now note in the text “we might not pass through here again”. We might think of this William Penn quote: “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
    Now look at the poster of the bear/bare feet, and those 4 shoes, and well obviously we should be Saints and put shoes on the bear in the corner. “Saints THIS way” does not mean a door – it means go to the bear”. And then yes, put the four shoes on the 4 bear/bare paws and exit via door 4.

  13. Or since we have not made use of the 4 claws on the bear yet in the above count, how about the 4 claws connect to the Saints and indicate the room choice for saints is 4.

  14. Helpful or not, the “sinners this way” line, combined with the bear indicating 30 with its paw, brings to mind the apple tree we’ve just seen, and the reference to Eve, with obvious connotations of the Tree of Knowledge and the fall of Eden.

    (We all know the story, right? Eating the fruit, gaining knowledge of good and evil, original sin, fall of Eden, Paradise Lost, sweat of your brow, etc.)

    “Saints that way” must then be another direction, and since the paw is going to 30, the Saint’s direction would seem to be where the bear is looking, the only other direction it might plausibly be indication and also the only other possible direction in the room. I’ve suggested he is indicating the “pair o’ dice” as a pun on “paradise,” though that’s ambiguous, since both Eden and Heaven are described as paradise at different times, and while saints may go to Heaven in Christian mythology, they cannot return to Eden. (Which is guarded by angels and some kind of self-wielding, flaming sword. No kidding!)

    • Or, you know, man, just, left is sinister, right is just…but that’s no good, because it’s completely ambiguous, since the bear is motioning to our left with its right.

      No, we’re just not getting what’s going on with that sign, and trying to force it closed with dumb guesses ain’t doing the job. It’s an odd sign, obviously relating to some stuff it doesn’t need to relate to, very confusing. The thing about leaving your coats behind is suggestive that where you’re going is going to be warm (i.e. sinners this way, right?), but big deal, that doesn’t help us. I mean, all that sign really seems to do is create a mucked up path, making you think you’re following the right sign if you go to If No Eve, or if you go to the paradise, but you don’t go to either of those things here.

      Not only is it completely ambiguous which way the bear is saying which things are, but it’s unclear which category we should consider ourselves to belong to, IF EITHER.

    • The only ways into the room are 30 and 37, the rooms associated with Eden and Paradise respectively. I really suspect that’s all that’s going on here with the saints/sinners sign, and it isn’t helpful in determining 4 to be the correct door.

  15. Well, the “saints this way” thing refers to the the pair-o-dice (paradise).

    More than just being four boots in a group, I think the five boots taken together clue the idea of an unpaired item amidst pairs.

    • On lone boot: the text says count on me and in this room you can count 1,2,3,4 on various things. Like boots/accessories. 1 boot. 2 on coat rack, 3 in stand , 4 boots

    • Saints and paradise are not a tight fit – no saints in Eden. They are just both religion related.

    • Right, as I noted before, “paradise” is ambiguous, since both the pre-fall Eden and heaven are referred to as paradises. But in Christian mythology, one would certainly associate saints and paradise in the heavenly sense.

  16. Text says “opening one of the doors” but 30 is already open, so that can’t be the way the went.

  17. You should note the narrator says “You can count on me” suggesting that you should look at numbers. There are also 4 boots and 4 feet on the picture.

    • Is the odd boot out the partner of the abandoned boot in room 38?

      Of note: A top-hat left behind. A pair of canes with the bumbershoot in the umbrella stand.

    • Also, notice that the feet/boots that count are the four bear feet. The elephant foot is, perhaps, to indicate that the odd-boot out is not to be counted among the bear’s saintly four.

  18. Room 42 Solution: Partial.
    Fourth room of the path – The not very hidden word is “bear,” because there is an “bear” in the room.

    The correct door is 4. Room 22 has a PAIR of scissors. Room 25 has a PEAR on it. Room 37 has a PAIR of dice, and the bottom dice, which is numbered wrong, adds up to 4. Room 4 however has a salt and pepper shaker set, never referred to as a pair. There are 4 boots together (2 pair), and 4 bear feet in upper picture. So room 4 is correct.

    Unsolved: Room 30 has a sign that says “Saints that way, sinners this way” being held by a bear pointing to room 30. Why?

    • The conversation on the Room 30 page was discussing how the “saints this way” sign is pointing to the room with the “if no Eve” sign–the idea that if there were no Eve to be tempted by the snake, there might not be any sin.

      Maybe all that is too obvious to mention–because we still don’t know which way is which.

    • The bear is looking at door four, perhaps? Imagine yourself nodding towards door four while saying “Saints that way” and then gesturing towards 30 whilst continuing, “Sinners this way.” This is tied to a gesture. It is touchable.

    • Hello Gregor,

      CORRECT! I cannot bump it up to 5 yet as there is one riddle remaining. You are on a roll!

      Sinners this way – points to the wrong door.
      Saints that way points to everything on the right (there’s a bit more to this).

      White Raven

    • Hurrah!

      Let’s think.

      1. The only animal I can think of that has both tusk and claw is a saber-tooth tiger.

      2. One of the three animals in this room are referenced by room 23.

      3. Further, The Guide suggests The Visitors leave their coats behind whereas in 23, they regret not taking more with them.

      4. All of the Dancer’s accessories are here despite the fact that he left them other places elsewhen.

      5. If the bear is looking at 4, 25, and 37 as “Saint doors”, then there ought to be some reason specific to those three doors to choose four over the other two.

    • 1. Pair, pair, pear(pair), set (not pair) of salt and pepper shakers. Non-pair is the correct door – 4.

      2. 4 boots = door 4

      3. 4 bear feet = door 4

      4. The bottom dice numbered wrong adds up to 4 = door 4

      The Umbrella collected these solutions from the now defunct John Bailey site, these solutions were posted by Slala.


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