Room 9

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…what appeared to be an old storeroom. Dust obscured a damaged painting making it hard to understand just what the artist had intended.

“This could be a trick of some sort,” one said. “We might be going around in circles.”

“I don’t think so,” said the thoughtful one. “I think we’re supposed to think it’s a trick…that’s the trick.”

They all looked at me. “Yes,” I said. “I’m sure you’re right about that.”
With doubtful looks they left for…

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

Room Type:  LOOP    Doors:  3  18  27

Solution Summary: [COLLECTION CURATED BY WHITE Raven. SEE COMMENTS FOR ADDITIONAL SOLUTION PROPOSALS.]

● In the text the line “I think we’re supposed to think it’s a trick…that is the trick,” is meant to prime us to look for a couplet by the couplets “think” “think” and “trick” “trick.” The last two lines are a couplet the first devoted to the word “right” and the other to the word “left.” “Right” is in the same sentence as “Yes” and “sure,” while in the second sentence “left” is with “doubtful.” The right hand door, 18, is correct. [Independent Credit: David G | White Raven]

● The three men and the picture of the blind mouse go together to recall the nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice.”  A visitor says, “We may be going around in circles” – this recalls the blind mice chasing the farmer’s wife, who in turn captures the blind mice. The sword in the torn painting which is pointing to door 3 recalls the knife in the nursery rhyme used to cut off the tails of the mice. All this is to indicate that door 3 is bad. Door 3 = blindness, running in circles, and being cut with a knife. Alternately door 18 is flanked by a picture of sunlight. Door 18 = sight. [Independent Credit: vewatkin / David G  | White Raven] [Note: This solution is incomplete]

117 thoughts on “Room 9”

1. Instead of chasing their own tails in circles they should chase the cut off tail of the spade.

Let’s suppose the angle cut the spade. Then like the mice they should chase the one who cut off their tail.

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2. So the angle is the farmers wife? Because they all ran after the farmers wife who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

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• Angel, Apple–>A–>Agriculture

Farmer’s wife

Where were you on that one, Dave?

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• And why is the farmers wife an angle? Is she the woman is silhouette that Jack the ripper killed? Lol anything’s possible about now.

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• But it general no. WhAt our ha e there is not a solid induction.

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• Spade is not much of a farm tool. Scyth is. But it is far away.

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• Nothing is 100% firm anywhere here. Other than the path. So to get nearly firm things you need to take advantage of the way probabilities multiply. Say A is one in 50. Given how busy this place is A will happen somewhere randomly. But if B is also 50 to one and C is 50 to one and all 3 happen then ABC is 125000 to one. That’s not random. Roughly – find it, find confirmation, show its utilty, and you’ve got a gold standard find by Maze standards.

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3. 3 above the door has sharp point. Like a scythe. Cutting tool.

Trail of tails.

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4. If the purpose of the three left paintings is just to signal “cut” (blind mouse–cut tail, third man has a cut beard, ripped painting), that alone could suggest the spade, without seeing it all as a three-part metaphor for cutting off tails.

Also, the angel in 18s doorway has a sword, making it a good answer to the theme of cutting.

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5. Yes, it catches picture. Close enough to star that you could draw a line slightly diagonal through the handle and catch the star. But he could have lines it up better if he wanted to. IT still indicates the picture, and I still think we can use either “A” or Spade for a 1 there along with the 8.

But interestingly the line hits right at the corner of the star picture. I wonder if that is suppose to mean anything in connection with the fact that the angel picture is in the upper left corner of doorway.

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• Also if you follow the line of the broken part in hits the big picture right where rip starts.

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6. I would not take any old “A” object to be an “A” by itself. But an “apple” and an “angel” together I certainly will. Or the doors in room 1 are clearly “A,B,C,D” because of the pattern. So hear I feel free to use “A” and/or “1″ in that door way.

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• That’s not likely to help with Raven’s points however, since we know he does not use a lot of those solutions.

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• I agree that we’re being told “A.”

Actually, I convinced myself of the correctness of the solution midway through discussing it, largely on account of the apple and angel both lining up with the spade handle. They’re not just hanging around the area of 18–they’re right in line with the spade. With the spade implicating the 8-point star and the letter A, it seems a bit obtuse to refuse to consider the A as a 1.

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• Oh, except that as Greg corrects me, the spade’s shaft doesn’t really point to the 8-point star. If you follow the line, it catches the corner of the painting the star is on, but not the star.

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7. I think the “chasing our tails” connection to going around in circles is probably a good one.

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• And maybe besides following the Spade tail, we should tail that angel to get out.

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8. “one” is in the text more than once, and “going around in circles” could be an 8. Reinforced by the circular logic of the trick being a trick.

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9. Both figures in motion, the man in the painting and the angle head out door 18.

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• There really could be an 18 in the mouse ears and staff. Eight dots on top of mouse poster.

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• The man on the right’s glasses could be an 8 too, and his nose a 1.

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• “We might be going around in circles…”

Hmm, a hint to look at the circles, or a reference to “chasing our tails,” i.e. the cut-tail solution I offered earlier.

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10. Odd one out solution – 3 is to easy with bearded men and mouse.
Spade points at the star. Handle is a 1, star has 8 point = 18.
“Apple” and “angle” are “A”, then with the “T” on the ground we have “AT” indicating that this is where we want to be at.

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• That’s farfetched, but maybe the As here are meant to be coded for 1, to go with the eight-pointed star?

I’m not sure, since using alphanumeric coding whenever it suits us is a little too easy, but we definitely have that weird eight-point star peeking out of the dirt, which generally means it’s important, and all it lack is a 1–which it could get from the broken spade, maybe, I guess.

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• As far as alphanumeric coding the number of times it works is a pretty clear indicator it is supposed to work. That is just one of the things you can look for according to the inferred Maze rule set.

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• Maybe. The problem with cases like this is that we have some A objects so we look use 1 because it’s part of the solution, but there are lots of 1s and 2s and 3s and 4s in room solutions, and lots of As and Bs and Cs and Ds, but we only use them when they match up and do something different when they don’t. You have to figure that every time that Room 1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 31, or 41 is the door being indicated, an A could be a clue, and that gives a lot of opportunity for accidentally correct uses of alphanumeric coding.

I agree that here the pairing of a proximate 8 gives this solution a little more weight than usual–one half of the spade points to the 8, and the other to the angel and apple–look at them, they’re lines up right with the spade. I’m just cautious about it.

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11. Well, putting together the picture of the blind mouse, the picture of the three men, and the cut picture that features someone with a sword, it seems what’s being referenced here is Three Blind mice, particularly the facts of the three blind mice having their tails cut off (as in the nursery rhyme). (In essence, we’re getting “BLIND MOUSE–THREE–CUT” or something like that. It’s not that those words are part of a rebus or anything, it’s just that that’s how those painting are going to together, what they’re suggesting.)

So, on the other half of the room we have the spade, which has had its “tail” cut off–the broken handle, which clearly points to the correct door, 18.

The business about obscuring what an artist intended–we’ve been so focused on thinking about what the cut in the painting might be hiding that we ignored that the cut is exactly what the painting is communicating.

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• I think you are getting warm to something there. Broken spade and cut tails probably add up to a door indicator, maybe with help.

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• vewatkin,

Congratulations on the three blind mice and the sword! You are very close to the solution.

White Raven

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12. Mouse ears and stick. Well there are coincidences in Maze for sure. But when they indicate the correct door then the balance of probability is they are not I’d say.

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13. Visitors to Room 9:

I don’t know if the eight points of the sun was meant to ever so slightly suggest 18 or is just an artistic coincidence. Three blind mice is correct (but to clarify the painting of the three men pairs with the painting of the blind mouse to equal “three blind mice”). The light being good is correct. The spade pointing to 18 being part of the solution is correct. These are not yet solutions. The solutions to these things are two metaphors involving the text and multiple items.

Oh, and in the painting on the right, that is not the Taj Mahal – it is the top of Batman’s head…

…okay I don’t know what that is.

White Raven

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14. Less persuasively, but perhaps thematically appropriate, the blind mouse is naturally associated with 3, and is right beside the door, while beside the door to 18 we see the corner of a painting in which the sun is shining down on something. A bit of the old darkness/light business that WR talked about yesterday. For all the good it does us.

Look at those mouse’s ears, sideways. Don’t they look like–

YES THEY’RE CARTOON MOUSE EARS, VINCE, THEY LOOK LIKE AN 8, SETTLE DOWN, TIME TO LOOK AT A NEW ROOM.

Ok, ok.

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• Mouse by 3 to me says add (three + blind mouse = 3 blind mice) I think we go there automaticly but there is really only one mouse so you need the 3

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• At one time long ago I thought that maybe the mouse ears were an 8 and the stick he is holding was a 1 to make 18. Maze is filled with natural coincidences like this. Coincidences suck.

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15. I’m not sure the spade handle pointing at 18 gives anything all by itself.

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• I’ll reiterate for clarity a portion of what I posted below. The spade handle pointing at 18 is a super obvious clue. Going to the text, we see that the thoughtful one says something to the effect that it’s not a trick. I read this as meaning that the most obvious clue- the spade handle- is actually correct. Similar to Room 2 and elsewhere.

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• Ok. The trick stuff relates to something else. But I can see it also functioning that way. Normally an obvious pointer would be a false clue. But it does point at 18.

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16. I don’t think it has been pointed out yet, but there’s a reasonably clear lowercase A between the shins of the Greek warrior on the torn painting. Is that “what the artist had intended,” indicating the apple and the angel through 18?

As far as my previous suggestion of a “torn” theme goes, maybe it’s better stated as cutting the ends of things: a mouse’s tail, a man’s beard, a spade handle.

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• Almost looks like a small a inside a big a. With magnification. I’m good with that. Btw. The woman’s profile is in the hanging piece on the left edge. You can see a profile of face and breast.

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• To go along with your “a” the top boundary and corner of the ripped frame look like the Apple stem

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• As Gentile notes, the spade handle clearly points to 18. The man with the shave beard, and the torn side of the Greek painting, both occur on the right side. Any plausible way the blind mouse’s tail points to 18?

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17. My full room 9 summary is up on my page. I think I’ll look at 27 next, since it is on the other side of that hole.
w w w.davegentile.com/stuff/maze.html

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18. How about a cutting theme? The Greek-looking painting is torn, the blind mice famously had their tails cut off, the third bearded man has his chin shaved…is there something we’d like to cut the end off of here?

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• The shorn tails are in Raven poem and in 3bm themselves. the bearded men are in shaven in poem and 3bm. Torn painting I’ve double used. Grave in in poem at contributes to ripper. Spade contributed to room link and to grave and to Jack of spades. Broken handle is used. A door is used twice. Text is used once all of it. Star gives a simple 18 and maybe days of yore. There is still maybe a bit of tarot stuff here to get “the world” tarot card. I feel it’s complete here. “Look at Jack of Spades” was the “uber puzzle” here. Amusing wrong thoughts were that mice adore cheese and maybe the paintings were crackers in a cheese dip. Also thinking of what bm could mean with a big hole in the ground made this room a bit unsanitary. I don’t think manson would go scat however. Lol. But I agree cut rip shave broken is rather a pattern too. Never know when he placed in just one more thing.

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19. The broken spade is a perfect “T” with nearby “a”s = at. “Look” is repeated in text. Look at Jack of spades. Ok. I’m looking. It’s a one eyed Jack. Vauge connection to the trap escape. A lot of steps to get to that so it should mean more. But it is the only one eyed BLACK card. So if you were going for “look into Raven’s eye then this would be the card.

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20. 8 pointed star with numerical value of a things is a simple 18.

Jack of spades requires just about the whole room but means little. This may be a 2 room puzzle with the room next door.

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21. Here is a bit. The ripped picture does not match the ripped frame. The “artist” may be the creative “ripper” ripper and grave huh? Jack anybody? Looks like rip could be woman’s profile.

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22. It’s the picture on the far right that is obscured, but apparently by dirt moreso than dust. A star, or the sun, seems to shine down on a Taj Mahal-like structure.

Manson loves to use these little glimpses of things as clues. (Readers of The Practical Alchemist may remember kicking themselves hard upon first discovering the “sod.”)

“Supposed to be a trick…”

An indication there are supposed to be three things in the paintings? Clearly, the blind mouse evokes “Three Blind Mice.” Then the three bearded men. Then the obscured painting…

A six-sided star…times three…

See, that strikes me as a slightly far-fetched solution, but there’s clearly some 3 stuff going on here, and this painting is kind of reverse-focused by Manson…well, whatever.

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• Well here is more. it’s not done though. I’ve not used the spade for example. I love that I wake up knowing more about the room I fell asleep with. Lol. 3 B M is right but incomplete. There are a few reinforcements I know and that 3 + B + m works says “right track” add 3 b m to ” a door” and get 3 a m door. And yep that is the time there. It seems 18 has false or true time related clues on many sides of it which may be important there. so we seem to be by a grave at 2am. Not sure where that leads.

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• Taj Mahal? Maybe. Different way to look at it anyway. I have tarot card stuff and saintly days of yore. Neither may be important to room puzzle.

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• I’m counting 8 points on that star, with seven rays and three points on the building. Er.. It is 1 star with 8 points.

I think the most obvious clue is meant to be the broken spade handle. It points right to door 18. You may think that is a trick, but the thoughtful one knows it is not.

The trick is 3. As you said, trick occurs three times. Three is the number of the blind (as clued by the one blind mouse leaning by said door.)

“They all looked at me.”
The three men in the painting (also partially obscured by dust or dirt) look at the viewer. They are not blind (elsewise glasses would not be necessary). The Guide assures them that their threeness is right, but they are doubtful. (“With doubtful looks they left for…”)

“Dust obscured the damaged painting making it hard to understand what the artist intended.” On its face, this could be self-referential criticism.
Three, arguably four (depending on your view of framing) paintings have a mound of dirt in front of them. Two paintings are visibly dusty (the ripped painting and the three men.) The two clearer paintings feature one blind mouse and and eight pointed star. The mouse sees nothing, the star shines brightly on all below. Together they make a rather grey 18.

In portal 18, we see an apple and an angel. That could be part of a door lettering system or the apple tells us that we’re heading back to room 1 with its apple-cheeked door.

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• AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaargh

Yeah, eight point on that star. Sorry, I should have learned by now to stop going by memory, because my memory is POOR.

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23. Anybody want to throw out ideas on 9? I got a + door = adore. Looked is repeated. Mouse is blind. Sentence about artist intent is important. When raven poem comes though it label big picture shutter as the result of a puzzle. Angel fluttered. There is the hole labelled a grave. A broken spade. The other pictures. Not fitting together yet.

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24. The picture of the blind mouse brings to mind the rhyme:

Three blind mice. Three blind mice. See how they run. See how they run. They all ran after the farmer’s wife, Who cut off their tails with a carving knife, Did you ever see such a sight in your life, As three blind mice?

No idea what this means, just sharing…

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• There’s the blind man in room 29, there’s room 3, and there’s those three fellows in the painting.
The tap dancer loses his hat in room 3. He also may’ve dug here from room 27- perhaps part of the reason he’s running from The Guide? Tap dancers use canes and, further, this one seems to end up getting lost.

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• Well, that the blind mouse is a reference to “Three Blind Mice” seems to be a reference to the door to Room 3.

But we also have Three Bearded Men, suggesting that what’s really import is 3 B M. If you do standard number-letter coding, 3+B+M gives you 18, which is in fact the right answer here. But I hate go around number-letter coding without justification…

The word “trick” is used repeatedly in the narrative–three times, in fact. A clue that Room 3 is a trick (i.e. the wrong door)? Or a reference to the concept of a “hat-trick” , the accomplishment of some feat three times?

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