Room 43

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…a great hall, dominated by the entrance to room 22. The face over the door had a sly look.

“Is it good or bad to have only two choices?” they wanted to know.

It was, predictably enough, neither “good” nor “bad.” These people just didn’t know how to phrase a meaningful question. You have to be very particular in this House.

We went on to…

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


Room Type: TRAP     Doors: 4  5  14  22  28  38


● PEEK and PART reversed say KEEP and TRAP. [Credit: John Bailey] The back of the room reads, left to right, “KEEP YOURSELF.” In the form of a classic word puzzle, the word “YOURSELF” is separated by being on two jars, so that the phrase in the back of the room reads “keep yourself apart.” [Independent Credit: Barry / Aria | White Raven] Perhaps the bell/sounding bell/phonograph flute in the doorway suggests filling in a word (“apart”) between the jars. [Credit: White Raven]


81 thoughts on “Room 43

  1. The “PEEK”, “YOUR”, “SELF”, and “PART” thing, when read from right to left are ALMOST saying “keep yourself ‘A’part” maybe there’s an “A” we’re missing? I also think that a lot of the things on the wall, above the arches kinda look like faces. Just throwing those things out there.

  2. The trefoil/trident/trinity stuff means that the final riddle is found in three parts of the room: the left, the centre, and the right.

    The sly face has: one eye looking to the left, and one eye looking forward/down. The third eye is the one on the figure on the right (the figure on the left distinctly does NOT have an eye. The figure on the right makes an arrow with its shin, that bottom bit that I think is the sole of the other foot, and its staff. The arrow points directly at the PART sign.

    The door itself contains:
    M: (shape of sly face including horns, structural stuff behind, forearms of figures)
    U: (upside down but sly face would see it right-side up)
    Possibly an O comes from here: the mouth of the horn.

    The sly face’s left eye points at that round face with the bulls-eye nose.
    I and N: The right eye of the round face is looking down. There’s a tiny but distinct “IN” hidden there.
    Possibly we also take the O from here: the bullseye nose.

    A, R, and T: The arrow described above (staff, leg, foot) points at the PART sign. The three fingers correspond to “ART.” (The index finger is curled and not pointing, meaning you disregard “P”.)

    And now… we have all the letters to spell MINOTAUR…

    The T could come from the door as I’ve mentioned it before but it seems pretty good to have it come from the sign because of the three fingers.

    • Sure, it is about the guide, but since it is about Room 43 as well there’s nothing wrong with posting guide stuff here. Anybody following along knows to be checking this page.

  3. Here’s another attempt at this thing. Don’t laugh.

    I cannot get away from the idea of the sly face being an M. Everything seems so carefully placed to make it an M.

    Also, there are A LOT of little circles in this room. Rings. Or Os. They are in the decorations above the figures, on the walls, in the rims of the jars, and in the mouth of the bell. OK. Lots of Os.

    And we are told to be PARTicular, as well as having the PART sign, so perhaps the riddle has several parts. OK.

    First part:
    M (sly face) in Os (i.e., letter M surrounded by Os)

    Second part:
    T (stone lintel and keystone, all connected — this is unusual — hidden by beard)
    Then we look over to the left side of the door, because the sly face has that wonky eye looking over to the left.
    A (leg and foot — or other leg I can’t tell — of left-hand figure)
    U (upside down in door frame)
    R (curtain)
    If you want the Greek spelling, you can use the Os again

    MinOs + TAUROs = two parts of the word MINOTAUR

    How does the trefoil path help. Well, there’s lots of minotaur stuff along the path, and if the Minotaur ever does get confirmed, we can have fun listing it all. Otherwise, maybe the three rings relate to: the three rings in the circle of Hell that the Minotaur guards, the three stages of a bullfight (I have more stuff about this, which I may post later if it turns out not to be totally stupid on second glance), OR maybe it’s just that rings/circles/Os are an important part of the solution to the Riddle of the Guide.

  4. Probably unhelpful, but something kind of fun that I now can’t unsee…

    The hole in the floor to 38 looks like a mouth screaming in terror (ladder could be tongue) and the openings of the pots look like wide eyes staring up at the sly devil.

    Maybe it’s unintentional, or maybe it’s there to increase the menacing feel of the room. (Or maybe it means something! Who knows.)

  5. I received an email from Janice (remember Janice?) about the visual word puzzle in this room. She didn’t know what I meant and was asking for examples. In case someone else is interested here are a few examples I made up of similar visual word puzzles:

    “Going separate ways”

    ATTEN . . . TION
    “Divided attention”

    A PERSO . . . NALITY
    “A split personality”

    I would guess that about 10% of the riddles in MAZE are puzzle types that are only used once. Which I think is absolutely amazing.

  6. I have for this room is that if you take the curtains in the door in the middle as a A shape and combine it with the peek and part you cans spell “parakeet.” So the guide is a parakeet! Uh. No.

    Also using the letters from the jars you can spell “sly.” The left over letters are FEE U O “fee you owe” which only makes sense if the guide is the skeleton who ferries the dead across the river Styx. Hmm.

  7. WR, what the heck? You are not usually cryptic in your posted solutions…

    “Perhaps the bell/sounding bell/phonograph flute in the doorway suggests filling in a word between YOUR and SELF. [Credit: White Raven]“

    • How’s this?

      “Perhaps the bell/sounding bell/phonograph flute in the doorway suggests filling in a word (“apart”) between the jars. [Credit: White Raven]“

  8. While I’m here, y’know, staring fruitlessly at this room and looking for guide stuff, just also thinking about room clues…

    KEEP YOURSELF refers to door 22, which is the better door because it leads you farther away from the more dangerous part of the trap. Maybe that bell thing is a listening horn, signifying “hear/here”? Keep yourself here?

    Or keep yourself apart… keep yourself separated…hmm.

    PART, meaning TRAP, is on the same plane as the opening that leads to 38, which is the worse door.

    I think this is pretty obvious to everyone at this stage but it hasn’t been explicitly said so I’m just saying it.

    Otherwise, what the heck is the other part to this riddle?

    • Aria,

      Congratulations! This is, to my knowledge, the only room in MAZE with this kind of classic word puzzle.

      White Raven

    • Yes, you are the Cluemaster now.

      So, Cluemaster…what the heck does “keep yourself apart” mean here?

    • Actually, hold on. I generally can’t be bothered with crediting solutions, but because this would fulfill a long-running dream of declaring Barry cluemaster, I want to point out that Barry stated his interpretation of the signs to be “Keep yourself apart” back on the Room 43 episode of MazeCast. (Start listening about 19:45.) This was broadcast on October 17 of 2014.

      I do not think that Sara will disapprove of crowning Barry.

    • Vewatkin,

      I haven’t seen all the MAZECAST episodes, apparently I missed that one, but even if I had seen it, I only credit solutions mentioned on this site. Since you mentioned his solution here I have no problem with crediting Barry, I will do so now. Thanks for mentioning it!

      White Raven

    • Well, if it’s too laborious for the people making the shows to post their solutions here, I certainly don’t expect you to comb through 100 hours of low quality youtube videos for them! Like I say, I wouldn’t ordinarily mention it, but we have been wanting a Cluemaster Barry reign for some time.

    • Just to clarify, I did NOT steal this idea from the Mazecast! I hadn’t watched this one either. (But probably should given the new significance of the room…)

  9. Can’t neglect the quest for Maze-points either. How about:

    …the entrance to room 22…was…neither good nor bad…

    That is – they are in the trap and going to 22 does not put them any closer or farther from room 24.

    Also maybe – “Keep yourself here”. That is – stay here in the back end of the key. The “here” maybe could come from that thing straight ahead. It looks a little like a hollow face with hair and the bell/whatever could be where an ear is. Another guess is you could say “you have to be very particular “here”" rather than saying “this house” – because he just said they don’t know how to phase things.

    • Maybe it’s just “keep yourself away from the trap,” since the “keep” and “yourself” parts are sort of huddled at the back of the room, away from “trap.”

  10. If you look at the woodwork design above and to the right of the arches, you can see some pretty creepy faces with sharp teeth…

    • And in the middle, between each arch, you can see some pretty surly looking faces.

    • And there are smiling ones. (Sort of creepy smiles, but smiles).

      It would be typical Manson misdirection if the faces over the door that say “keep” are the important ones, rather than the devil. I think this room has a “keep bell leaving in your self”. I suppose it could also have a “keep smiling”. But that’s all I can make of those faces at the moment.

    • All I know is that if I was in this room, I wouldn’t be smiling.

  11. While I’m on a 43/22 symmetry kick: Here are some fragments of prior notes:

    This room is described as “a great hall” and 4 is described as “a great hall”. They are the only two “halls” in MAZE except for room 1, an “entrance hall” rather than a “great hall”. (16 uses the word “hall” but in reference to 4). There we have the “foolish face” and in 43 we have the Devil over the door. Also in the door from 4 to 43 we have “ELL”. It’s not hard to put together the two halls and the “ELL” to get hell. But the question then becomes why?

    Bells in Maze (may) symbolize faith. Here we can substitute “Keep faith in yourself” for “Keep believing in yourself” easily, but the best evidence for it (may be) in room 8, with support in 11 and 20. And then both here and in 26 they are found with devils, and faith might be important for walking through the “gate to hell” in front of us?

    New note (for 43 anyway): The “ATLAS” in 26 is one letter off of SATAN.

    Theory: This room is partly about SATAN as a false guide. Not set up as elaborately as the SUN thing, but still false clues may be intentionally planted for him. What I like about this most is two symmetries. 43 and 22 the TRAP rooms farthest from 24 then both focus on a false guide. And then also the two “great halls” 4 and 43 both feature a false guide over the door directly ahead.

  12. Most places where we have forms of “look” in the text figure directly into the main guide puzzle or in the case of 9 it’s own guide puzzle. Exceptions I see are 3,20,39. But these rooms all contain one-eyed things, at least. 43 does not. The floor hole could be the “sly look” but it is not very eye-like, and intentionally so, I’d say. Where is the “eye”? In “devil” – it has one “i”. This give us more help with finding “part” below:

    From the revised main page:

    This is the room where we learn that “part” is an important word. The “Part” in 43 is just “TRAP” spelled backwards, and this is indeed a trap room. The text asks “Is it good or bad to have only two choices?” But he also tells us they did not know how to phrase a meaningful question. This invites us to rearrange the question. He also says “You have to be very particular in this House” and in “particular” we can find “part”, which is also given in this room. This gives us even a bit more license, we are given the concept of word parts, and can use that concept. We can take words apart. I get “…Or, is it bad to have only good choice ‘twos’?” This borrows the “s” from the end of “choices” and puts it on “twos”. Also note that “room 22” is given in the text to help us along. This is our main directional indicator in this room, I think.

  13. I saw KEEP and TRAP right away too. But, a keep is a dungeon room as well. I think the curtains form the hair of a young girl; very similar to the man with the mustache in room 22. Skillfully hidden.

    • I was satisfied with the prison interpretation of “keep” back in the John Bailey days, but I’m not as happy now, especially since that “your self” pottery is hanging out there with no good explanation. I would hope something ties it all together, though “keep” would be meaningful on its own.

    • HM noted in the comments of the most recent Maze podcast:

      “A lot of rooms have something that indicates the color red. The curtains can be a girl’s red hair. The bell ‘rings’. Thus, red hair- – ring (red herring).”

      My first thoughts were, “Haha, that’s interesting, but too silly.” On further reflection, though…

      It’s at least worth discussing, I think. The only hardsell part of it for me is that the curtains have to clue to the word “hair.” Although they are arranged in an arched doorway in such a way as to resemble hair on the sides of a head, I don’t know, I don’t know whether that’s too far to reach. I mean, it’s not as out there as, say, Room 45, but it’s not exactly SEE APE NOSE either.

  14. I’m going to call the other object a “pot”. In room 3 we have backwards writing, like here. We have “pot”s like here, and we have a “self” in 3. Manson uses himself for various puzzles in that room.

    Pot backwards is “Top”. And I can hear the objections but I’m looking of a “hat” and if that Bell says “Tah!” as it leaves I’ve got one. Tophat = to path. And maybe yet another weak pointer to 22.

    • But pots and stop is not bad here really. It just might make one miss the connect to 17. Reading it as reinforcerr to stop next door may not be wholly unintentional. But if it is planned then it is sort of part message part trick. Seems worth noting in any case

  15. “Keep yourself” doesn’t seem particularly meaningful here. I’m guessing that in the final solution, some form of “keep back” was intended.

    Trap, keep back!

    You could throw in “keep yourself back,” but that pretty arbitrarily and unnecessarily throws “yourself” into it. The way that “yourself” is split up really suggests that something should be “in” yourself or something.

    If that’s a VASE and an URN, it could be “RUN, SAVE YOURSELF.”

    Or anything else you could imagine using similar freedom.


    Can I keep repeating that until it’s right?

    • An urn with “your” on it connects to 17 in some way. And our choices are limited here.

    • Based on room 17 – “your” choices are limited. We have a “your” choice in 17 and a “your” choice here. At first impression this just means this is a Trap. 2nd thoughts are that we have 1 good choice in 17 and 1 here, and they are both straight ahead. So we have a directional to 22.

  16. I am going to post this again separately, because I think it is a strong proposal for what is going on with this room:

    We know that PART is TRAP, backwards, which clues us to reverse PEEK to KEEP.

    The Urns besid the door to 22 read YOUR and SELF, interrupted by a doorway featuring a large bell (either a regular bell, or the bell of a musical instrument (the opening of a tuba or a trombone is the bell of the instrument). The bell is on its way out of the room, or, in other words, it is leaving.

    So we have: KEEP YOUR [BELL-LEAVING] SELF. the Bell-leaving is /in/ “Your Self” making the solution:



    Keep believing in yourself.

    An inspirational message from Manson to the reader.

    • This is one of the places I went most wrong in 2012. I said it was a bell that was “out of here” and ended up with “keep yourself out of hell”, and went down that rabbit hole. Keep yourself well was my next guess. This is clearly better, however.

      I’m going to add it to my page with credit. Combined with what I had, and the indicator to 22 I just added, I’d stay we are 99% done.

      One note: The room still says TRAP. I still think it says “fair well” as well. It’s a ray of HOPE. And BTW – I think we do have that over in 22 H + ROPE = HOPE. (And there is more of course). It’s part of a message to say that there is a way out of the TRAP, IMO.

  17. Here is another bit for this room. The guide says they don’t know how to ask a meaningful question. So we should rearrange the question. I get “Is it bad to have only good choice twos?” The trap arrows lead to 22.

  18. Here is another bit for this room. The guide says they don’t know how to ask a meaningful question. So we should rearrange the question. I get “Is it bad to have only good choice twos?” The trap arrows lead to 22.

  19. My new analysis in full:

    The “Part” is just “TRAP” spelled backwards, and this is indeed a trap room.

    We have “PEEK” which is “KEEP” backwards. Then we have “YOUR SELF” and this means, gasp “yourself”. I believe we are supposed to complete this as “Keep yourself well”. Then we have a “bell” which rhymes with well. And I think we know who that face with the “sly look” is. We have a “sly devil” and maybe a gate to “hell” also rhyming with “well”. The hole itself could also be a “well”.

    The text asks “Is it good or bad to only have two choices”. It goes on to say this is neither good nor bad. Not good or bad = “Fair”.

    Put them together and we have “Fair well”, an appropriate trap room message.

    The text also says “You have to be very particular in this House”. The capitalized “House” is of course the “world”. Maybe this is just to point us to “Part” = “Trap”, but there may be more here too. If you subtract part from particular, you get “icular”. This could be many things. How about “I C U R Lost Again”? Nah, But I think there is something here.

  20. New thought; Neither good nor bad is fair. Keep your self – well. Rhymes with both bell and bell indicated by sly devil. Hold could also be a well. Together we have : Fairwell. Appropriate for a trap room.

  21. The figure over 22 has a sly look suggesting a trick. There is some sort of large bell type shape seen through the doorway.

    “You have to be very PARTicular in this house.”

    • There is one riddle in this room, the above answer collected by Janice from the now defunct John Bailey site (posted by jmb184) includes three of the four parts.

    • The doorway to 22 contains a bell that is on its way out of the room, or leaving. It is in between Your and Self, making the message:

      Keep Believing in Yourself.


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