This is a page to discuss room to room clue trails and how rooms relate to one another…
Things we know:
● Along the 16 room path is a hidden phrase “Like Atlas you bear it upon your shoulders.” We know this phrase is correct, it was confirmed by the publisher. The first seven rooms each contain a hidden word in the correct order. Then we reach Room 45, the center of the House, with The Riddle of Room 45 in it, which does not contain a part of the phrase. What happens next is disputed. The undisputed letters are: Room 8 “S” – Room 12 “D” “U” – Room 39 “R” – Room 4 “L” – Room 20 “S” The disputed letters are: Room 23 “O” or Room 39 “O” – Room 15 “H” – Room 37 “E”
● The rooms of 16 step path are in a figure 8 or infinity symbol.
● The rooms of the trap can be arranged as a two prong key as illustrated by Manson in MAZE.
● Along the path are two live animals a tortoise and a hare. The hare is in Room 15, the tortoise, at the end of the trip is in Room 20, recalling the Aesop Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. The correct choice in Room 1 to begin the 16 step path is the door marked “FABLE.” Amazingly, in Aesop’s Fables the Tortoise and the Hare is fable number 226, the correct door number is 26…to 26 = 226?
“There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip” is an apt saying for the journey from Room 26 (CUP on door in Room 1) to Room 20 (RIM shot on door in Room 1).
Don’t get worked up, I’m not suggesting this was intended, I just thought it was fun!
A rim is also an outer edge, like the narrow ledge in 33.
So after reading that incredible theory about the Mr.Yes/Top Hat dude, I think that there’s definitely some reason behind each of his appearances and all of the times he indicates the right door. The trail of crowns ends early, so there’s probably some strange chronological order of his movements in the maze.
Although there’s an abundance of hats in general throughout the maze like everywhere. I saw a (maybe same, maybe different) man wearing a fez in some places, which is not as common as the top hats and crowns, but he strangely appears only in Path rooms (8, 12, 20, maybe 26, 28, 29). There’s also sun/straw hats in 15 and 45, bowler hats in 36 and in 7, clown hat in 16 and 39, and a cone-shaped hat/hood in 7, 12,19, and 28 (Room 7 has a lot of stuff that are probably relating to all this but I can’t identify what that hat is on the guy on the bottom painting on the right wall. Could be a bavarian hat, ribbon cloche, trim knit hat, a sideways fedora, maybe even a kaburi–i need to know). It’s unlikely that all of these hats have a common significance (a lot of them are already used in solutions of the rooms they are in) but my guess is that the guy started with the fez, somehow got a crown like in room 42 perhaps, and then ended up in the loop with the top hat. And switched other clothes maybe, like his suit. Maybe the hats themselves have a separate meaning, but it’s just interesting to see this many hats.
Am I the first to notice that every room in the Maze has at least three doors (entrances and/or exits)? It seems that a working definition of “room” is a place connected to at least three other places, and a “door” is a connection between two rooms. With these definitions, the Maze indeed has 45 rooms and 190 doors (the bricked-off prison in 39 is not a door).
The doors are quite diverse in form. In some instances, such as 37-10, there is a literal door, but sometimes we must imagine a long hallway or chamber in between the rooms (drawn explicitly in, say, 17-45 and one of the entrances to 16). If we could make a list of all the doors that seem to be straight connections, and which are upward, downward, or curved, perhaps we could resolve some of the never-ending debates on the correct geometrical layout of the Maze.
What are we to make of the occasional attempts in the narration to describe a door, as in room 3: “We passed down a long flight of stairs, through some sort of pantry, and on into…”? Either the same description applies to all three exits, or there is a “guests’ path” to be discovered, potentially quite different from the True Path. For instance, it might begin 1-20, as “The ringing stopped as soon as we entered” makes little sense unless we come from room 1.
Does anyone know why there are so many rooms with symbols over the door, where the symbol is something that is found in a room other than the one that the door leads to?
There are many examples:
Room 29 is a major example where every door has a symbol over it. One of them is a picture of salt and pepper shakers over the door to Room 35. There is a salt shaker in Room 26, a much earlier room in the Path.
Room 42 has symbols on the doors, including one of a salt shaker and a pepper grinder on the door to room 4. The other symbols in this room appear to be things that are not found in the Maze.
Room 33 is another significant example with symbols next to all the doors, including one that we can’t take. The door to room 3 looks like it may have a jug above it. There are jugs in room 17, which is nowhere near room 33 or room 3. Is it meant to tell us that the door to room 3 is good, since room 17 is very close to the center?
Room 3 has a moon near one door and a sun near another door. There is a moon picture on the wall in room 2 (arguably next to the door to room 22) and a sun in room 4, but those rooms are not (directly) accessible from room 3. In Room 23, the door to room 8 has a sun over it while the door back to room 45 has a moon.
There is a crown on the floor in Room 16 next to a door. There is a crown over an unmarked door in room 25. (Room 16 and Room 25 are rooms in the Loop that are at least four rooms apart.) (There is a hat on the floor in Room 18, not close to a door).
Room 39 has a drawing of a tree in between the doors to room 11 and room 4, but closer to room 11. Several rooms have real or fake trees, but not those rooms.
There are various drawings of towers or castles near doors in the House (including one in room 20 with its roof being blown off by lightning), and room 20 has what may be a toy castle.
I always assumed the door symbols to be largely red herrings. But…. maybe not?
We have been talking in the Hangout about room connections in general — thinking about “Clues in a series of rooms may relate to one another, and may indicate a path” from the Prologue — and specifically between Room 4 and Room 39. The choice in Room 4 is interesting because it is the one place on the Path (except for Room 20, possibly) where it makes sense for the door clues to relate to the actual CONTENTS of the room you’re supposed to go into (not just the door number or attributes of the door), because you have already been there.
These are some of the connections we’ve collected:
1. The guests hear hammering and chopping sounds (already mentioned in solutions), which you can connect to the contents of Room 4 because you have already been there.
2. The story of Cask of Amontillado ends with Montresor throwing his torch into Fortunato’s prison and then placing the final brick in the wall he’s built. Here, the final brick has yet to be placed, making you think of the unfinished tasks in 4.
3. This also reinforces that the unfinished tasks in 4 are a clue that you need to come back and finish them. (This is sort of said already in the solutions to 4.)
4. *The word “fortunate” exists in the text in Room 4 – if you remember that, you might connect it to “Fortunato” when you are in Room 39. It is another bridge between the rooms.
I think there’s a thematic relevance in Room 4′s incomplete tasks–it’s not arbitrary that incomplete tasks are used to point to the correct doors in this room, but rather, the overarching theme of the room is “unfinished business” (if you will), which is relevant in a room you have to hit twice on your journey.
I’m not sure that amounts to a solution, even when paired with a echo of that theme in 39, but it does seem to be an intentional connection regardless of whether we could really say a priori that it’s indicating the way to go. Room 39 contains the incomplete brick wall, the tools and materials apparently abandoned mid-task; 39 also connects to 4 literally, and the text references the sounds of chopping and hammering, two of the incomplete tasks in 4. I.e. the rooms are tied by direct connection, textual reference (fairly unusual in the Maze), and theme.
I don’t think it’s a solution, exactly. I think it’s the confirmation of a theme, a theme that ties to the nature of 4, but it doesn’t tell you where to go until you’ve already figured out enough to know where you need to go.
6 and 33
6 looks like it could be the bottom of 33. The same square bricks are holding the pillar in 6 and the planks in 33.
true, how about the rain though?
I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice this. It does appear that the square flagstones used to prop up the boards in 33 are identical to the ones found in 6. I wonder if the flagstones found in 6 are the solution to why 33 has no floor. Some of them look broken suggesting that room 33’s floor collapsed into room 6 at some point. The wooden post in the center of 6 is probably holding up the flagstones in the center of room 33.
Another thing that suggests that 33 is above 6 is that 33 is lit from below. There is likely an interconnecting space between these rooms that is the source of the light seen in both rooms and this space is probably where the ladder descending into 6 comes from. Perhaps there is a window there letting in the light and the suggested rain. This interconnection is also part of the one way route from either 8, 17, or 32.
An observation by vewatkin in 16 led me to see that the doors in the 33/7/36/16 dead end are the ONLY ones in Maze with pointy tops, I THINK, except for the one in Room 17 that LEADS to room 33.
This kind of pleasantly matches the triangle shape that 7/36/16 make in WR’s loop map. Maybe it’s all just aesthetics but it’s kind of nice.
I started this as a new thread because Aria posted something related in Room 2 but it’s really connection related.
If WR is correct, and “ROOM CONNECTIVITY” is meant as a red herring from the Path, are they not part of the guide puzzle either? Are some of them?
Also we would have to define room interconnectivity. Is that strictly things that relate from connected rooms? Or is it any object that appears more than once such as an umbrella or bowling pin? Or are “same objects” a different type of connectivity?
Note we have found the meaning and/or use of some repeated objects, but I’d say less than 25% The toy ducks have not been used in any puzzle so far, in both rooms it appears. Most of the umbrellas have not been “solved”. What else hmmm, Top Hat might be the most misleading “repeated thing” as we haven’t found rhyme or reason to his intended direction (or status). That is, there is no consistency to his existence.
In terms of the “first” type of connectivity (rooms that directly connect to each other) they don’t appear as herrings. For example, the slide from 41 to 38 doesn’t in any way mislead you. You DO come to the bottom of slide, being in the Trap is not the point. The slide is “true”.
23′s reference to 42 doesn’t seem like a red herring either, not because it’s helpful (I’ve argued it’s relevant, but as with everything, who knows), but because it simply doesn’t seem capable of misleading you. Likewise the tortoise and the hare–they either in some small way reinforce the correct path, or they don’t do anything, but they don’t lead you astray.
sp & vewatkin,
This seems to me like is an Ask Manson question, I’m not sure we could ever solve these things satisfactorily without his help. How does this sound?… “Room Connectivity and Red Herrings: Sounds, time warping, the slide, reduplicated objects. Basic principles.”
I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth with regard to any answers from Manson, but this seems like a difficult subject to clearly summarize for Manson’s response. The bulk of this seems uncontroversial: repeated objects are not reliable indicators of a correct path; textual or pictoral connections between adjacent rooms are not reliable indicators of a correct path. It seems like the remaining disputes are these:
1) When there are inter-room connections like the slide in 41/38, which doesn’t seem to imply you’re on a good path (and in fact seems to accurately suggest the opposite), properly considered red herrings? This seems like a semantic issue only.
2) Does a reference to one room in another EVER provide a meaningful clue? That seems like a pretty definitive question, but it still seems like you’d have to somewhat specific in your explanation of the breadth of the concept of “reference.” To ensure understanding I think you’d have to name specific examples (23/42, 1/26/20, 15/20, what have you), and that may come too close exceedingly specific puzzle info.
I’m reminded of Manson’s email to Gentile in which he pretty broadly indicated that he included Christian references only for their word value; his point was just that Gentile was barking up the wrong tree with the moral and philosophical messages he was deriving from the book. But in so doing I think Manson somewhat understated the relevance of Christian mythology in Maze, if his words were taken literally–Christian elements form other kinds of puzzles than just word games. But he was speaking generally and off the cuff, and there it is.
I have a feeling this could leave some lingering doubt about whether Manson had considered all cases before giving a general answer. I GUESS THIS CAVEAT IS ONLY MEANT TO SAY THAT unless this question is asked fairly specifically it may just generate a lot of, “Yes, but….”
nah i wouldn’t ask manson this… i’m sure it’s interesting but i don’t know if it will help us with any major questions. although i am dying to know why the toy ducks are there, i am satisfied with our solves on room 39. room 7 not so much, but i feel like the progress we’ve made doesn’t point much to the duck. i hate to dwell on minutia but minutia make up the maze.
hey WR, i would probably write a whole lot (of useless nonsense) if you started a “SIMILAR OBJECT” page on abyss, to talk about bumbershoots, birds, bowling pins, bowler hats, and other things with B that seem to repeat.
Yeah, if I asked Manson about this we would have to talk a while with lots of specifics before I felt we had useful info. Time which is probably better spent talking about something else.
It’s on the side bar, I called it “Objects.” I’m curious to see what comes of it.
Sweet, thanks. Let the posting begin.
YOU asked for it, Alex. Let the posting FROM ALEX begin.
yeah yeah, i have two pending mazecast episodes to get done first!
Letter rooms: what’s the deal?
Room 9 = a:
hidden “a” in painting
angles (strong emphasis on triangles in torn painting)
Room 10 = b:
Room 44 = c:
corinthian column capital
cs as arches over door
These don’t seem to constitute a meaningful trail or help with room solutions, but anyway, I thought I would mention it. I don’t see a D room…
I wonder if the rooms that connect through the text – i.e. 10 and 37 with the rattling door – are simply clues by Mason that the Maze can be mapped. So they aren’t specific puzzles, just hints at the larger structure and the fact that unmarked doors do in fact lead from somewhere, and that it’s consistent throughout.
Is this totally obvious to everyone and I’m just now picking up on it?
Not totally obvious and not previously mentioned that I can remember. I’ve wondered about this and my best guess is that the time-warping-door-rattle is mainly to add atmosphere to the story and secondarily to confirm that unmarked doors cannot be entered.
Manson didn’t make MAZE with it being mapped in mind. He wanted visitors to wander about map-less each on their own personal journey. We are hacking the system by mapping it.
This would be a great question to ask Manson I am adding it to the time question.
And that’s how I viewed it as a kid, I just wandered around and thought about the pictures and the puzzles and inevitably wound up in the Trap. And I loved it.
But as an adult, I find it satisfying to know that all those doors are consistently two-way (even when they only go one-way), and also to know that the puzzles ARE solvable. Which is why I love this site.
Manson may not have wanted readers to map MAZE, but he must have mapped it himself in the process of making it. And he wanted readers to solve it, right? Solving it definitely seems (to me) very unlikely without mapping it.
Or did he not even care if anyone ever really solved it, only whether it touched them or enchanted them in some way?
Sorry if this is a repeat and it probably means nothing anyway. Rooms 32, 21, and 44 all have same/eerily similar birds in them. Maybe not anything special about the birds themselves, but could indicate that the rooms are connected somehow.
As a matter of fact, they are connected!
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Sorry if this has been said before.
I thought it was interesting that room 22 is marked as “solved” but nothing in the solution connects to all those “one”s in the text. So are the “ones” something to do with the Guide path? Or some other path? There sure are a lot of them for it to be coincidental.
If it were the start of a path, I think the next step would be room 36. There are a bunch of connections between these two rooms:
22: everyone is a critic, extremely critical; 36: guide gives brief review of performance in style of music critic
22: “rigor” (mortis); 36: “stiffly” (a stiff)
22: theatrical backdrop; 36: players wear tragedy and comedy theatre masks
22: “roles to play” 36: players are playing their parts
22: all those ones (start of a path?); 36: two players
(Like a lot of ideas I have about Maze, I got really excited about this at first, but now I think maybe it’s just a bunch of coincidences. Obviously Manson is drawing from one well of references in his own mind and there are bound to be many connections, meaningful or not. Hmmmm…)
Aria: this was the room that at one point WR simply said he had no clue about. At that point he felt he has solved Maze to a large extend, minus this room. The current solved indicator is simply about the “red herring” which quite possibly is intended here, and which I guess the theory is that it negates anything else the room says? Putting that aside – there are a lot of connections to 36. Another is the Trident. If you look at it as marking two positions on the Maze clock in room 30 it would be A and F/G. AF and G would match up alpha-numeric-ly to the exits in 36. I do now think the “…” path comes through here, pointing from 22 to 36. I also think rest and stop are pretty well indicated and appropriate since as an alternative end to 24. “Jew” I mentioned is in the sign. “Sea” is quite easy to get here. The guide indicates he is “fair”. Next door in 38 we have a “fare” poster with the word “see”. And the good/bad/fair theme is also next door in 44. That is where I got Pharisee, and it was the last step in a chain of reasoning that Manson did not say was wrong. Of course – he didn’t say it was right either – he does not do that, which the exception of WR and the guide riddle. All I can figure there is that maybe it ties in with “Sabbath Day of rest” in some way that I’m missing. So…I think there is something more here, I just don’t know what. If the Trident is a Maze clock indicator then the times it indicates are the times in rooms 1 and 19.With all those ones maybe it has something to do with telling us about the sun connection from 1 and 19 to 36?? Another thing I had here in the past I think is wrong. The connection between the art in 1 and 19 and the theater here. Probably not a thing. And finally there is the “Tree of Life” thing – it does not do much – which makes it suspect, but it sure matches up well to the map and the rooms it hits. This rooms would be “Hod” on that theory – splendor, majesty, and glory” in Hebrew says wiki. (fits with gaudy theme). Also Thanksgiving. – fits with possibility of a Jewish Sabbath. So I have a lot of related elements floating around, but nothing concrete. So maybe “red herring” after all? I think there is more – but then I also suspect red herring is quite possibly right in some way, even then. For now – I’ve kind of left it off to the side. Maybe one day some muliti-room puzzle will show up and make sense of everything.
Forgot to mention that the center could be a big eye looking right at a light – maybe another room 19 thing. It feels like maybe the room is supposed to be a primary clue to the “Tree of Life” thing since Kabbalah is a Jewish thing. But then I’d want the Tree to do something, and that I can see, it does not. Or – maybe this rooms does help set up the Tree of life thing AND also has a red herring to tell us it is nothing to do with anything. Maybe…dunno.
Thought I would post this thought as I am almost finished writing up my EYE solution (if you’ll pardon the pun):
Here is a list of all the Rooms with LESS than 3 doors and their similar traits, none are in the Path:
6 has 1 door – torn note (Guide)
9 has 2 doors-torn picture
11 has 2 doors-scary guest
16 has 2 doors-scary guest
18 has 2 doors-seat/sit
19 has 2 doors-seat/sit
22 has 2 doors-lantern
27 has 2 doors-lantern
35 has 1 door-covered face (Guide)
36 has 2 doors-covered face
43 has 2 doors-“they wanted to know”
44 has 2 doors-“they wanted to know”
Not sure about 11, but interesting list. 43/44 in particular.
Dave G. was talking about the importance of “looks” throughout. Is it possible that “look, look” in room 29 refers to the teddy bear looking at the ship in the fresco? (WR did confirm that the teddy bear looking at the ship was important somehow, but not for what reason.)
If this fresco does represent Christopher Columbus as Marianne and maybe others have said, that boat could be the Pinta, which apparently can mean The Look in Spanish. Then, I don’t know, maybe we go to room 34 with the Greek sailing ship with the eye? After that I don’t know.
Just a thought. That’s probably pretty far-fetched. Could people have been expected to figure this out before Google?
I just noticed this because of a comment by vewatkin.
So apparently one suggestion about the etymology of Cerberus’s name has it coming from an ancient word kerberos meaning “spotted.”
(Why someone thought that the predominant feature of a three-headed dog was its spottedness I don’t know.)
Then you have the teddy bear looking at the boat in room 2, which could be the Pinta — and apparently another interpretation for the Pinta is “the spotted one.”
So there’s that. But how anyone could have figured this out before Google, I don’t know. And what it could mean, I don’t know.
Pinta can also mean pint, connecting with pint of milk image on Prologue and room 1. No idea where any of this could go. Probably time to call it a night. :)
Why is it noted in 7 that music can be heard playing nearby?
1) There are musicians in 36 and musical instruments in 33. The most natural reading of 7 and 36 is the the music heard in 7 comes from 36 and the line in 36 about having heard music relates back to 7. But in traveling from 7 to 33, the reference to music reasonably seems to relate to the instruments there, leaving us wondering whether someone was there playing them before we entered.
2) It’s an intuitively appealing interpretation of Room 19 that the singing heard from another part of the grounds refers to 36: There’s really no likelier candidate room where someone might be singing, both rooms are outdoors, in close proximity to 45. There are countervailing considerations. (Nothing in 36 indicates the players are singing; the wordless singing heard in 19 may relate to a nearby bird; although 45 leads to both of them, 36 and 19 don’t readily lead to each other or occupy related locations in the Maze.) But if we accept the 19-36 connection, the questions expand to “Why is the music in 36 such a big deal as to be noted in two other rooms?” and “Why is the music noted in 19 instead of another room adjoining 36?”
I think it’s important to know the guide signs in 36 to help with the final puzzle in 7 – the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes. Here is some misc. from my revised page relating to this:
There is also a “part” here in 19. This one seems a stretch until we know for sure that the guide sings for a short bit in 36. That will be clear later. Also, our lessons in “Maze time” come in handy here so that we know that the guide can be here and there at the same time. Here we have “In another part of the grounds someone was singing”. “so me o new” seems to be the key area to focus on – it is it the text twice and it seems productive for word formation. But there is “one” there or there is “new” so how should we parse? A little later we get help in “something new” because here we can’t find the word “one” in someTHING. So, “so me” is the part we want – musical notes. They are the third and 5th note on the scale and a clue to room 35 – there the shadow on the floor is the shadow of the guide – Raven. And the “so me one” singing is Raven.
Help with the idea that it could be birdsong we are hearing comes from the wrong turns we could take here. We might try going to 21 or 44, where we can find birds outside that might sing. But the music is coming from 36. It is the only outdoor room which is not part of this group of outdoor rooms – even though no “singing” mentioned there. It is bird song and thus “they” could not make out the words. But maybe since the guide is a bird, he could. And this would be a hint that the guide is a bird. With careful text parsing there and with help from here, we can find that the guide is singing there. There we can see it better if we parse the text. “I…was affected by the sound.” (and “affected” can mean “influenced”) One of the visitors noticed me, listening (to him). “Beautiful music, don’t you think?” (subtle hint that his singing is not). He responds stiffly.
Webcast regarding Rooms 38 and 40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG9eIncrzs4
I’m posting that here not just because it involves two rooms, but because it deals somewhat with the connection between the rooms.
I’ve noted before that Rooms 19, 21, 31 and 44 form their own sort of sub-section within the Loop: upon leaving that sub-section you can’t return to it without returning to 1 and re-entering the Path (all other Loops rooms can be accessed without returning to 1); all rooms are notably outdoors. They really seem to be their own little world.
Even though I referred to this group of rooms as “the Courtyards” in a hand-drawn map I never posted online, I somehow didn’t realize that all four of these rooms are referred to as yards in their text. (44 and 31 are referred to as “courtyards,” 19 and 21 as “yards.” 21 is a little different because what is pictured is the portico, but the text describes the group almost immediately leaving that area and spending time in the yard.) So, I guess these rooms are more appropriate to refer to as “the Yards.” As to what, if anything, the existence of the group means, I don’t know, but this has easily crossed the line from “interesting connection between some rooms” to “clearly a thing.”
There may be a “four seasons” motif going on here, with 31 being icy cold, 19 being noted for its sun-warmed stones and bright sunlight, 21 having the lush plant growth associated with Spring, and…44…with its…breezes. I think things kind of break down at 44, because I can’t really find good cause to associate it with any particular season. 21 might be a bit of a stretch too, who knows.
Anyway, some food for thought there, maybe.
OH, one more thing. It’s interesting that if we remove these four rooms from the Loop, we’re left with 15 rooms. That’s the same as the number of room in the Path if we remove the four rooms that aren’t part of the sixteen-step solution (2, 5, 28, 34). So, in both cases, we have this core set of 15 rooms and four offshoots that don’t completely fit with the others. Any numerological significance to that? I dunno, I dunno…
My map and comments on all the Tree of Life rooms are now up. Commects are near the bottom of my first page and at the duplicated at the end of individual rooms. The map is on sheet one of the spreadshett with the maps.