“Maze, Solve the World’s Most Challenging Puzzle” by Christopher Manson

These pages contain a solution and walkthrough of the Maze.

Maze tools

A concordance of MAZE is linked here.

General notes

Updated March 2015 – this full page.

Sometimes these pages go a while without updates. So, I have started adding “freshness dates”. Unlabeled material can be assumed to be from 2014 or if not then 2012.

My main goal here is to maintain a compilation of the best Maze information, solutions, and possible solutions available, no matter who came up with the idea - and I did not figure out everything here myself. Many years ago I did figure out the path through the maze, but that was about as far as I got. Then in 2012 I was cleaning up my basement library and found this book, and I began this project. I found these internet resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAZE:_Solve_the_World's_Most_Challenging_Puzzle

http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbxroads/maze/

But they lacked a “total” solution with, for example, a walk-through of every page. So I invested some time in the maze myself, and eventually decided to make a web page. I did a lot but then put the book down in 2012 and a person who now goes by White Raven found my page and built from there. He set up a discussion website but did not publish the answers. He found most of what I missed, including the identity of the guide, confirmed by Manson. I had what I would now call partly assembled pieces of room solutions. Enough to find the right exit door, but not the complete picture. I picked the book up again in 2014 and picked up a couple of method hints from White Raven’s site, and I was off and running again, and found many things Raven had missed in the process, like the Raven poem hidden in the book, and also some elegant room-level or “uber” solutions like “H2O” in room 37. Also I picked up small hints from people on his site, and one enormously useful hint from vswatkins, who noticed evidence of time-keeping in the Maze.

White Raven claims to have finished off 44 rooms, prior to my involvement with his site, although he has not shared, for the most part, to what degree his solutions match mine. From what I’ve seen sometimes my 2012 solutions were better than his, and sometimes my 2014 solution were better, but other times he cracked a nut I totally whiffed on.  In short, White Raven and I worked mostly independently but cribbed off each other a bit at times. We both solved much of the MAZE mostly on our own, but neither of us would have got there when we did without the other’s work, I think it is fair to say. White Raven keeps track of who solved what puzzles on his site, but in my opinion he under-credits me. He credited me with the room 26 solution in 2012, but nothing else. I went through his first 10 rooms as a sample and found 6 of 10 where I had made valuable door indicator observations in 2012 that are not credited on his site. However, to be fair, he is probably under-credited here as well, mostly because if I list somebody’s name on an idea I heard on Raven’s site, he generally already had that idea first, but was not saying, and also I know nothing about solutions he has not revealed.

Putting Raven’s work aside, I try to attribute important finds to the people who made them, so new contributions are welcome and I will credit your name if I use the contribution on my page. As for the stuff prior to 2012 that is harder to sort out, since often credit would be partial and the details are somewhat lost to me at this point. The sites above were available to me, so if something was there, I probably saw it there. I will say, however, that the riddle at the center of the maze, and the clue along the shortest path I owe to others (See links above), but then, even there, I added many more ways the clues could be found, at times. Significantly, almost everything relating to “Atlas” in room 26 with the exception of the basic “SALT + A” part, pretty much all the tarot card references, and just about all the first round of shortest path clues for every room.

Going forward, for White Raven’s pages where all 5 points have been awarded I plan to quote his solutions and his credits here as I update rooms, and then add my own stuff below that.

In any case, to reiterate, my main goal here is to maintain a compilation of the best Maze information, solutions, and possible solutions available. I like to believe I am open to good ideas no matter what their source. Contributions and comments can be sent to GentDave @ att.net (with spaces removed).

One final note – this site contains lots of answers. If you are looking for hints instead you might try White Raven’s site: http://www.intotheabyss.net/ If you browse the discussion you will find many answers as well, but Raven may be publishing a hint book which will, obviously, contain hints, as well as methodological guidelines, and general information, and that may be a place to go, if you want hints without spoilers. Also, feel free to e-mail me and ask for a nudge with whatever room you are working on and I’ll try to give you a little, without giving away too much. There is an active discussion group at Raven’s site, so it may be redundant, but I have also set up an e-mail list. To join send an e-mail to: maze-cmanson-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Another group of Maze fans are working on a collaborative resource here:  http://themaze.tk/Main_Page

A bit about my background as it relates to MAZE is linked here.

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

The main solution

The shortest path to the center of the maze is:

1, 26, 30, 42, 4, 29, 17, 45

The return path is:

45, 23, 8, 12, 39, 4, 15, 37, 20, 1

Clues that might lead one to find the correct path are discussed in the walkthrough of the individual rooms. Also, my map of the maze is linked here. There are two pages to the Excel sheet. The first page tried to list all connections. The second page does not draw and “dumps” where you get dumped into a much worst position in Maze. It also outlined some important features of the map.

The riddle at the center of the maze is traditionally either:

“What house will all live in?” or for better grammar “In what house will all live?” (Also sometimes – “All will live in what house?”) The publisher confirmed the first in 1985, and Manson confirmed it was exactly correct to me in 2015.

However, Manson did not originally conceive of MAZE as a contest and there are things to find beyond the contest winning solution. The “will” is the hardest piece to find, and is almost irrelevant for the contest solution. There also seems to be too little reason to choose “All vs. None”. I think that is because in the larger scheme of Maze this is supposed to be a future-tense question. We know the “house” is the World/Earth/Globe or the planet. As the message, I believe, is that we will all have to learn to live there together or we will all die together. Much of this extended meaning is found by solving the puzzle on wall 40 I believe.   

These were the additional clues that could be received from the publisher at the time of the contest (borrowed from the pages linked above). Each of the additional clues below applies to one word of the riddle to be found in room #45 of MAZE:

 

    1.) I'll tip my hat if the two of you can solve this.

 

    2.) You can get into these two shoes only if you don't go anywhere.

 

    3.) You will find two names on the table, and they go together like doughnut and hole.

 

    4.) You must choose between two pictures.

 

    5.) There are no two ways you can read this sign.

 

    6.) You can see that another two pictures demonstrate their own kind of symmetry.

 

These clues lead to the riddle as follows:
 
WHAT = the W (2 of U) + HAT (the picture of the hat). The “W” groups with the “?” because it is near it, and they group with the Hat by being opposed directly. 
 
HOUSE = the SHOE and the horseshoe U around the table leg next to it (SHOEU is an anagram of HOUSE). And they are visually grouped.
 
WILL = "IAM", "SHAKE SPEAR", "WOOD ROW", "SUN" -- all of the objects on the table. The missing syllable WILL makes "William Shakespeare" and "Woodrow Wilson." Again this is a visual grouping.
 
ALL = the picture of the AWL. (Not the picture of the nun = none, which in is opposed to in the picture). All is given in the text, so this could be a clue it is right. 
 
LIVE = the sign reading "ELVI" -- an anagram of LIVE. Note: In the links above someone points out that there are many anagrams for this sign but only one of them can be pronounced two ways – live. Also if you are not “live” you are dead, in which case you
Can’t read the sign. Also “live” is in the text. But I think where the publisher clue was trying to go was this: No two specific ways you can read it does not mean “one way to read it” as you initially think but “many” ways to read it. All they are doing in convoluted syntax is telling you to find the best anagram of the many possible ones. 
 
IN = EYE (I) + "N" spells "IN" (and “in” is in the text). Their “own kind of symmetry” might be “object and observer”.
 
Prior to this, the publisher release a different, almost lost set of hints.
http://eblong.com/zarf/mazebook.html
Three things should be thrown out;

Three things come in pairs.

You'll find two people in the room;

They must sit in one chair.
 

The three things to throw out are the table, the chair and the nun. The nun as I mentioned above does not figure into the contest answer, but the ALL/NONE ambiguity is still intentional, I believe. The chair and the table serve another function – a room exit indicator when all the other objects are used up.

The pairs are the two shoes, the two letters across from each other “eye” and “n”, and the nun/awl (which Marianne adds are a “holy/holey” pair). The items for “What?” are not a pair, but a trio of items.

The two people are William Shakespeare and Woodrow Wilson. And “They must sit in one chair”? Mostly I think the point here is that chair is a good rhyme for pair, but also metaphorically you have to squish two people together to get one word.

 The clue to the answer is found along the shortest path:

"Like Atlas, you bear it upon your shoulders"
 
Room 01 = LIKE. The word LIKE is painted on a scrap of paper on the left.
 
Room 26 = ATLAS. SALT A is ATLAS spelled backwards. 
Also note: Saturn has a moon called Atlas, discovered in 1980, and both Saturn and a large moon can be found in this room. Saturn also has a moon called “Titan” and Atlas was a titan, and this may be why the moon is large. The moon, Atlas, is an “A-ring” shepherd. And the room contains both the letter “A” and a bell (which rings).
The devils are emerging from the stage in 3 stages = 3 stage Atlas rocket.
In the text we have “tidy” and “light in”. Together you have “Titan” and Atlas was a Titan. The narrator also asks, “Which way now?” and to answer that, one might consult an atlas. (see more in room 26)

White Raven adds: The artificial devil is meant to represent the Voyager 1 probe that discovered the moon Atlas. In 1980, just when Manson was beginning to conceive of MAZE, the Voyager 1 probe flew past Titan and Atlas. The probe was launched with a three stage Titan-Centaur rocket. The "loud noise"… [is] probably a reference to the roar of liftoff. The stage is reminiscent of a launch [pad] Voyager 1, famously, has sound recordings for aliens to enjoy, this is why the artificial devil's mouth is open, it is singing. The two individuals in the audience are shushed because there is no sound in space. Why is all this significant? One Voyager's recordings is the Australian Aborigine song... "Devil Bird," another link to the Voyager mission and moon of Atlas. Raven has later added that “devil bird” was nickname for Voyager 1.

 I would add that they hold their ears because of the roar, and that the “shh” indicates volume both ways – silence in space and/or noise of rocket.

Room 30 = YOU. There is an O and a U, but the text says "why 'O' and 'U'?"
Y, O and U spells YOU. (The O and the U may have other functions discussed in the walkthrough).
 
Room 42 = BEAR. A BEAR (stuffed).
Also note bare bear feet on the poster and the 4 boots = another clue to the word “bear”. Also in room 25 the door to the room is marked with a crown (bare for all tosee)  and the man about has a “bare crown”. See the walkthrough for more on this. Also, in room 37 the door to this room is a completely “bare” space.
 
Room 04 = IT. The chair = "sit," the hammer and nail = "hit," the pieces
in the picture = "fit," the candle = (can be) "lit," the wood = "split".  That's five verbs ending in "IT". The wall sconces represent binary “bits” too, it seems.
Also note: The candle and hammer together can spell “IT”. And the puzzle could be part of an Intelligence Test (IT). See room 4 for more.
 
Room 29 = UPON. It's written on the blind man's sign.
 
Room 17 = YOUR. "Why, oh _ You are _" is printed on a sign.  This is Y-O-U-R.
 
The word SHOULDERS is spelled out of order on the way out.
Note in Room 23 the word “shoulder” can be found in the text, providing a clue to the word for which the next rooms will provide the letters. I believe the letters are given in an obvious way once OR, they are given in a hidden way twice so that they reinforce each other. Manson seems quite aware that the more hidden something is, the more times it has to be given to make it clearly intentional. 
 
Also along the path there are several things associated with Masonic images. 39 is notable. The Masonic Secret word is revealed to members one letter at a time traditionally. 
 
Room 23 “nothing” gives us a hidden “O”. (I sort of doubt this one).
 
Room 08 = S (obvious), but also “E” hidden in table legs.
 
Room 12 = U, D (obvious)
 
Room 39 = R (obvious), “O” hidden as tire, “L” hidden in the two tubes.
 
Room 04 = L.  In the diagram of the maze posted to a wall, the word ELL is spelled out. (hidden).
 
Room 15 = H.  7 major objects start with H: HEART, HARE, HATS (x2), HOUSE, HEROES, HELMET. (This is a hidden one). Also there are “H”s in the ceiling.
 
Room 37 = E.  All of the objects end with "E" -- Eye, Table, Sphere, Bottle, Vase, Cone, Dice (or die), rope. (The text gives the clue to look at things from all sides). (This is a hidden one). But then the room level solution to 37 is “H20” and I believe you need to find that there to resolve the conflicting indicators in that room. So we have another hidden “H”.  Also maybe an “O” in the shadow of the net.
 
Room 20 = S.  You might think there are two S's here, but no; one of the S's is "extra!" (obvious “S”)
 
World, Globe, or Earth were acceptable overall answers to the puzzle. In 2015 Manson confirmed the exact riddle and the exact clue, and said that yes those were 3 possible answers. But he also had another in mind. I suggested “man” which is part of my answer in 40. I also suggested “WR”s “weight of the world” which is an interpretation of the answer. I also suggested something Vince recalled – “mind”. Manson said “All those alternates could work, but they are not what I had in mind.” Those I take this to mean that all those answers had some merit, it their context, but not what he was looking for. “Planet” is my best guess at this point.  
 

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

Christopher (Manson) puzzles

It initially (in 2012) appeared to me that the author had scattered his name throughout the maze. However, I wrote to Christopher Manson and he kindly replied. He said in part:

…while I dislike to go into much detail about what is or isn't there, I do want to say that I have really only put my name in once on purpose, and besides a couple of references (nun, pair-o'-dice) used for their word value, I did not intend to incorporate any particularly Christian ideas, messages or doctrines. My first name is entirely coincidental to the book, and was not my doing in the first place.
    I hesitate to say anything about the book usually…

He also elaborated that when he said his name was not his doing he meant that his mother chose it, not him. For a time I thought the Christopher’s might related to St. Christopher. Christopher means “Christ bearer” and in the story he is an enormous man who takes a child across a river and the child seems unbearably heavy. Afterwards the child tells him, “You not only bore the weight of the entire world on your shoulders, but also the one who made it, for I am Christ, your King.” Once St. Christopher is seen in this light, it provides additional clues to the answer to the whole puzzle. But in 2014 the clues I thought led to “Christ bearer” led somewhere else. Although, it turns out, there may still be a real one of these which involves the door from 42 to 25. Probably not, however.

So, now, I am sure of one “Christopher Manson” in room 3 where it plays a role in a larger puzzle. In room 4 there is a Man with a face, and we are told to pay no attention to the foolish face. While not part of the puzzle I wonder if this was Manson poking fun at himself. Or Maybe we should take it as his “evil alter ego Sun-man” who gives false leads. (See room 19). In room 19 it is very tempting to see the artist as Manson in contrast to the Sun-man. Perhaps he meant he only put his full name in the book once (in room 3) and maybe that that was the only place you needed it as part of a puzzle. I do still may have a few other Christopher’s listed as well. These are “ghosts” not intentional in the puzzle, but some are just fun, and may draw attention to unsolved text, or whatever. I was not entirely unbounded in what I was looking for, I was looking for two word phases I could get from the room that would give all the letters for “Christopher” with letters that were missing filled in by the first letters of unused things in the room. Actually rather challenging to do, but a complete rabbit hole it turned out.

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

 

 

 

Time in the Maze

This is complicated enough to merit its own discussion. On page 30 there is a clock. If the other hand were on it, it would read “FC”. Many other locations in the Maze have a time associated with them. Abssyian vswatkin is primarily responsible for this insight.

After a bit of intro. And room 1, I will simply list the times as far as I know, and discuss some of the support for this notion.

If you map out the rooms of the “upper level” or path of the Maze they can make a figure 8 shape, or on its side an infinity symbol. In room 1 we have “sinister” which can refer to “left” and the sun comes from the left. Then in room 23 we are half way around the figure 8 that maps the correct path through the Maze. The word “Right” can be found in the room here in both picture and text and in adjoining room 19 the sun comes from the right. Half way through the figure 8 at room 4 (half of 8) the path crosses itself, and we have a picture of the sun. If we assume we are looking South in all 3 areas, then we have morning sun in room 1, a representation of the noon-day sun in room 4, and what is called “late afternoon” sun in rooms 23/19. Also compare the cover and the title page. The sun has moved after the guests picked a door – it moves as the morning sun would. This is pretty cool all by itself. It shows us that Manson pictured the room layout as an infinity symbol here and that Room 1 is the East end. But it helps us with other rooms as well which will be discussed there. In particular it clues us in to time keeping in the MAZE. The time in this room on the clock in room 30 is “FA” and that happens to be in the word “FABEL”. Outside it is Sunday or Saturday, (and probably the Sabbath day) morning, 8 am. A puzzle in 13 works best if it is Saturday, but still can work if it is Sunday. In room 22 the Pharisees could suggest a Saturday Sabbath, but the possible connection to room 1 could suggest Sunday. It actually does not matter, however. All events in Maze take place in the same 24 hour day. The clock will normally move one click per room on the right path. And real time will move forward 1 hour. 

Another bit of support from this comes from the triangle on the ground before the sun symbol. Many symbols in the room have one extra line. With a line removed from this symbol it is the symbol for semi-sextile in astrology. It means 30 degrees of arc around an orbit or circle for astrological bodies. If sunrise was 6am then at 8am the sun makes a semi-sextile with the spot on the horizon from which it rose.

There are a number of linkages between room 1 and room 19. In both places the guests are described as children. We have an easel in both places. Here we have mention of the sun in the prologue and glaring at him in this room and the symbol for “Sun” can be found on the floor (the circle with the dot in the middle). In 19 the warm afternoon sun is mentioned and the large statue carries a “sun”. So –

Room 1 – FA – 8am

26 - FB

30 – FC – Here the hands indicate the correct exit, door 42. FC is 42 clicks after AA. The exit 42 is also clued another way in that room.

42 - FD

4 - FE (hey that's Iron) but GE on return tripp. It is noon outside. We stare South at an image of the noon-day sun.

29 - FF (a little like the 7s in the candles)

17 - FG

23 - GA (late afternoon outside), 4 pm Sunday... (or Saturday – see room 1)

Room 19 is right outside and there are a number of linkages between room 1 and room 19. In both places the guests are described as children. We have an easel in both places. Here we have mention of the sun in the prologue and glaring at him in room #1 and the symbol for “Sun” can be found on the floor (the circle with the dot in the middle). And here in 19 the warm afternoon sun is mentioned and the large statue carries a “sun”. It is also interesting to note that in the tarot deck the sun card is number 19.

Then here in room 23 we are half way around the figure 8 that maps the correct path through the Maze. The word “Right” can be found in the room here and in the text and in adjoining room 19 the sun comes from the right. Half way through the figure 8 at room 4 (half of 8) the path crosses itself, and we have a picture of the sun. If we assume we are looking South in all 3 areas, then we have morning sun in room 1, a representation of the noon-day sun in room 4, and what is called “late afternoon” sun in room 19.

A weaker clue is “Eight” is such a big deal here. Yes it is the room exit, so this is part of the reason but also as we leave it says that this is the room they’d long been searching for. Yes, it is a false clue to 45, but also it means room 8 since this is the correct exit. So 8 is sort of “special”.

The scroll clues us to the time, as well as anagramming other clues. “The time is” (that’s simple). ”Everything Right” (the right letter in everything is “G”), “Nothing” (This is :00 or big hand straight up on “A”). So the time is G:00 or GA.

8 - GB

12 GC (rain/wind time outside) 6pm

39 GD

4 return – GE – and in theory it should be 8pm. We don’t see ourselves here, because we are only 8 clicks away from our last passage through, not 16 clicks although we do have a hint of the guests in 16 and of course that happens both times, and we see the cat both times but he is only relevant to the 2nd pass. Rather confusing.  

15 - GF

37 - GG 10 pm outside and we are lit with moonllight a fact that helps us pick up the dream catcher shadow in this room. Is the moon in the West? Or is this room turned around so that it is in the East? It does not matter that I’ve noticed so far. The door rattles when they leave the room. This is the guest entering room 10 on the other side of the door. The time moves to GH here as it moves to EH there, so it seems that every two cycles of the Maze clock events happen simultaneously.

20 GH Farthest forward in time of any room - it is the 24th “time zone” with EA being the first one. There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet and the last letter is Omega and there is a ring of them on the carpet. (vswatkins I think made this observation).

1 on return could be 'HA!"

28 – it looks like rain, but that is really a fake picture of the outside. Time = ? FH would be a guess. Or a step either way.

32 – can’t say. Within two steps of FH however seems likely.

5 – complete ?

2 – complete ?

Trap rooms - maybe timeless. But in room 22 it looks like the 8 sided clock and time is mentioned. The Trident could mark something on the bench. F/G A from Trident? If it is there it might connect to room 19/1 and/or to room 36 where the exits to 16 and 7 would match up via alpha-numeric coding to here and the theme of theater in both places would match up. In either case it is a red-herring connection it seems. In 6 we see a little light, and some rain. Note that would put both the sun and the rain straight up. Hard to do. But this has nothing to do with MAZE time, it is part of the identity of the guide puzzle in that room.

Loop rooms -

41 – FA – same time as room 1. The text notes the spent little time here. And the big puzzle of the room confirms it.

10 – EH – They hear themselves in room 37 when they enter, and rattle the door. Then they spend time here.

34 - EG

25 - EF

13 – EE – The clock on the wall if read as 6 in the evening is a false clue to room 18. The clock on the wall is positioned like the hands that would read “EA” This is the time for room 33. The skeletons on the clock also help tell us it is midnight outside time there, “witching” hour. But as room 3 shows, 33 upside down is EE, and that is the time here. So in some MAZE-logic way that makes it like a fake-noon, and we are supposed to find “noon” in this room as well, as part of the exit clue.

A simpler version would be to think it is noon in room 4 where the time is FE and noon here where the time is EE – but everything does not quite sort out with that logic. The text tells us when Friday is mentioned that it is nearer the end of the week than they knew. In fact it is 4am Sunday morning, only 4 hours from the beginning of the week. (or it is Saturday 4am – see room 1)

18 - ED

9 – EC it is 2am in this room and 3am in the next and that fact is part of an exit clue to room 18.

3 – EB (see room for discussion, there are more clues involving EE and 33 to show it is midnight in room 33)

33 – EA (see room 13 above and 3) It is midnight here, and that forms part of the guide clue.

35 – EG – this room comes after 25 for reasons discussed below.

14 - ? probably still EH if it matters.

19 - same time as 23 wwhich it is connected to.  GA

31 - same time as 8 whhich it is connected to. About Storm time. GB.  5 pm.

21 -  about same time as 12 which it is connected to. GC probably. Maybe GB

44 – the time is GC and it is 6pm, this room gives us another lesson in time keeping at we have to know the time is 6 pm or there abouts to find the exit clue. 18:00 = room 18. The maze clock “winds up” when you walk through the door and pulls the door shut behind you. A pocket watch is represented by the puzzle there, and the MAZE clock in 30 is also a pocket watch.

16  - would seem to be xE since we see the cat/Poe run by in 4.

36 - It seems and Evening or at least daylight outside, like 19 where music can be heard, but that is singing in 19 not string music, so can’t say. GA seems a reasonable choice if it matters.

7 – complete ?

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

The guide

Note White Raven found this first. I found it later with a tiny nudge or two from him. We may differ in our details. I found the poem first –although I don’t know if he accepts it as valid or not. He found it via what he calls the riddle of the guide – which…apparently I still have not found. I did find a rather nice path to the guide, however (see below).

But first a note, there are a number of clues in the text that can lead us to the umbrella as a guide, and that we might need it for rain. And “an umbrella“ contains “a bull man” plus two left over letters – so it is quite tempting to try to work it into a minotaur puzzle in some way. (For example) “rain umbrella” is an anagram of “I rare bull man”, but the it does not quite work out – it is not meant to, the point is just to be tantalizing, because it is a false lead. Notice that on the cover there is a red herring and no umbrella, and then on the prologue page there is an umbrella but no fish. That is a clue that the umbrella is the biggest red herring in the book. There are many other ways to reason towards the Minotaur in the text as well, making him part of the biggest red herring too. Examples include one parent being low born and the other close to a king, and a bit about deceptions practiced on his father, and the bull horn mirror in 7. But the guide is not the Minotaur - he is the Raven from Native American myth it seems. At the tail end of this “guide” section I’ll give my current best guess as to the other purpose of the umbrella.

Let’s start with the path newest path I found: In 45 we have “They looked and looked” and “after one last look around”. Repeated things are almost always important in Maze. In 29 we have “look, look, this is important”. These are clues that “look” is important.  Then in 6 “they did not like the look of the place” and he seems to scold them about judging things by the way they look. Then we have that eye on the wall. As a dead end room with only one way out and a few guide related statements and that Notice on the wall, it has long been obvious that this is a guide related room.

Let’s look at 6. Before we begin with the eyes, I note I have a number of Raven things here. “are visitin” is an anagram of “It is I raven”. And once we know the identity of the guide is Raven (mostly from elsewhere) and that we should be looking for identity clues here (from the note) we can notice some things. That hole way up above becomes the hole in the top of the Teepee. In a main story of Raven he steals the sun from the “old man” and flies out the hole in the top with it. The sun and the small hole up there make us think of this story (once we know we are dealing with Raven). Raven also steals water for the world and flies it out a smoke hole (that ties in with the rain coming down). But in the process of that theft they light fire under him and he gets “smoked”. That is why Raven is the color he is today. Before that he was a “White Raven”. The two stones under the post are what makes it look most like smoke hole prop. You remove the stones to close the hole in the roof. The stuff about deceptions fits with Raven the trickster. Their timidity is probably about their failure to look him in the eye.

The headline of the note contains the word “trap” and/or “part”. As “Trap” it just indicates that we are in the trap part of the maze.  But also in room 44 (which I’ll get to later) we learn that “part” is almost as important a word as “look”. It is a signal to take words apart. Here it may be a signal for “It is I raven” from “are visitin”.

Back to eyes and looks: We have the eye, the bit about the way things look and then an instruction to “keep judging things by the way they look”. The eye marks a doorway, but which? The one with the bird – 32. Go to 32 and look at the doorway to 6. This is the off-center door with the room that talks about broken symmetry. What is it? A giant eye with a pupil looking to door 28 and the bird. The “looks” in 31 have a purpose related to this – they help teach us that doors can “look”. My room solution in 30 might help too. There we have an “I/eye door”.

"In a very real way we are all of us animals, at least in part", that is a rather non-random phrasing. As mentioned, in 43 “part” means to look at parts of words. Is there an animal lurking in that non-random text? Yes "in a very" or smaller "n a ver" = "Raven".

The bird is “perched above the door” as in the poem the Raven “perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door, perched and sat and nothing more”. Note that “Pallas” can also be found in the bird rooms in 44. Also a main theme of the room (detailed more in room description) is that the run-away statue is a thief – and Ravens are thieves.

“Another one!” could also be a clue to the fact that the guide is a bird too. The text after that point is also a clue if it is parsed correctly. “People can be so arrogant” is an aside related to “Their attitude was really starting to annoy me”, and they are so arrogant that in the next clause they think he is talking about people. He is not. With the aside removed we have “I have come to think of all of the inhabitants of this House as members of my little kingdom. In a very real way, we are all of us animals, at least in part.” He is talking about himself and the other animals. He can come in humans form or bird form.

So we follow that giant pupil to 28. That hole in the floor can be another eye if you look at it from above. They didn’t like the “look” of the hole” Too dark down there! “They looked at me again”. This starts clueing us that looking at the single eye is the same as looking at the guide. Also the “looks” in room 37 start teaching us the trick of looking at rooms from above. “at last they were learning” the guide tells us there. “spacious” room in 28 may tell us the ceiling is open.

 Where to from here? 43 is a wrong turn to the guy with “sly looks”. But the “looks” there are important as well. 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, and all roads lead to 22 in the Trap it seems. The floor could possibly be an eye as well, reinforcing that that this is a room that has a “look” clue.

So, back to room 28.  That man eating is the only one with pupils. Do we go to his wall 23 or where he looks 45? Let’s guess 45.

We have the “looked and looked” and we have the single eye and it could spell “eye-z”, and they have a “last look around”. 23 or 19? I don’t think it matters. Let’s go to 23. “looking out the windows” “look at those two trees”. “looking over my shoulder”. Off to 19.

Here she “looks him in the eye” right after the bit about squinting in the sun. That sun looks like 1 eye. Now – if I did not know better I’d think the guide was the sun here…but. We hear signing from elsewhere outside. So off to 36 it seems. Also, we are following where the sun eye “looks”. And in 36 we can see the sun is “looking” through the doorway on the right. Room one also has “look clues” and the sun “looks” through the doorway there. 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.

In 36 the musician is overplaying his "part". That I think helps explain two very non-random words - "...in plangent brio". It is not exact but it gives a clear idea. "In plant embryo". An excess of “in” words may help with this “introspective”, “interrupt, “involved” (thanks sp). And in the story of Raven he turns himself in to a hemlock needle so that the old man's daughter drinks him in a cup of water. Then she becomes pregnant and gives birth to the Raven in human form. Another “part” is found near “turn” and this could just be a “tern” since some of these “part” words let us find bird hidden names.

The musician looks to the numbers. WR says 16 so let’s go there. Here I think the 3 parts of the room give us “Maze guide Raven”.

Now let’s look at the bit about the stories full of lies and exaggerations that his old neighbor’s descendants are still telling about him. This is native American Raven. Note that when Raven appears as an animal guide, traditionally, his purpose is to help unlock the deeply hidden. What about the room reminded him of Native Americans and their stories of Raven flying out of smoke holes? Well, the hole in the floor could look like a smoke hole?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_hole#mediaviewer/File:Kirbuster_Farm_Museum_-_geograph.org.uk_-_508633.jpg

Someone also suggested the hat could look like a teepee – but I’m unsure about that.

Here we have another “part” and another bird clue. With few regrets on my part = “egret”.

  Before heading off to the next room here is how I get “Maze guide Raven” here.

This is a chamber. The text tells us that. Next door in the music room we have a small string performance. “Chamber music” is a small intimate string performance. The round object is a chamber pot. That figure straight ahead of us is through the door to room 4. The black cat in room 4 runs from here, room 16, to room 15, spelling “PO(E)”, since P and O are the 16th and 15th letters of the alphabet. Note in room 4 it says that the cat came from the right. And we have just come from the “Poe” room if we are on the right path, so the black cat we should think of is from Poe’s story, so this may be “Pluto” the cat. Note this is “P…o” the cat. For confirmation that we followed him we can look in room 15. We are told that we hear a bump and footsteps hurrying away, and then a door slams. In room 4, the voices we hear are probably the guests themselves in room 16, since sometimes events in the Maze happen at the same time. See rooms 37 and 10 for example. Next, if we look at room 16, we are told, “A figure crossing the hall outside saw me and ran off”, and we see a figure in the archway to room 4. In room 4 we are told: “It was fortunate I was still standing with the rest of them or they might have noticed.” My translation: It is fortunate I (in 16) was still standing with the rest of them (in 16) or they (the guests in 4) might have noticed. A bit more support for this idea comes from the fact that at the end of the text it says "We left for" = "We left 4".

Another “PO” thing here is the chamber pot. This is also known as a “po”, maybe from French pot de chambre. And as noted the text also mentions the word “chamber”. We also have three near misses to “Poe” – the trap door “pole”, the “pole” for the Jester, and the machine has something you “pull”. The word “stories” is in the text twice, and “scared” once, and the guide indicates it is unlikely that WE scared HIM.   

We should have Poe on our minds by now. The figure on the wall may be “Ursa” or at least is a bear man. He has bear feet. He bears a crown of Holly. Through the exit to 7 there is a bear skin, and here there is a crown. The Po also may bear a crown. What has a “bear crown” that connects with Poe? The Raven. From the poem: “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven ghastly grim and ancient Raven”. Are there other Raven hints here? Yes, “Chamber” of course. The text says the figure in the door may be a visitor. We see him through a chamber door. From Poe’s poem: “While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping on my chamber door. Tis some visitor I muttered, tapping at my chamber door, only this and nothing more. Soon after in the poem we have “the sad uncertain rustling of each purple CURTAIN”. The picture of the man hangs from a curtain rod, and it seems to be rustling. When we put the hat on the chamber pot it looks like a Censor (thanks to Lewis), this also relates to the poem “perfumed by an unseen censor, swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. (Of course if it is supposed to spread the odor of the chamber pot, that is one nasty censor, lol). This corner of the room represents the Raven.

Note in room 17 (next page) – the MAZE is a “confusion machine”. Now here in room 36 that “motley” is meant to represent the fool. Numerous examples exist, but this one seems particularly apt: Folly’s words usually held vital information for the teams, in the form of both clues and spells. Think of Richard’s team in series 1, who had to work out that Folly had given them a WELL spell amongst all his tricky riddling, and of Jamie’s team in series 2, who had to pick out a clue about stepping on the Jack of Spades when the time came to Pick a Card. Folly always helped the teams through his professional prattle, and they had to listen carefully to pick up on what he was really telling them: ”There’s more wisdom in foolish wit than ever you can imagine.” – Folly.

http:// interactive.knightmare.org.uk/component/legacy/page/display/lexicon?s=view&EID=folly

But let’s take him to mean the “fool” more generally. And a fool’s job can include generating confusion. Paired with the machine we have a “confusion machine” and as room 17 told us, this = MAZE.

Let’s put it all together now. Left to right, we have “MAZE, guide, Raven”. Of interest let’s now note that the top-hat guy here represents the Maze guide, but in 3 he is “Manson’s soul” and this connects the two. Manson metaphorically placed his soul in Raven in the Maze it seems. Also “Top hat” is an anagram for “To path” and when the man in the top hat appears he is a true “guide to path”.

On to the next room - the room pupil – the trap door – looks at 7, and so we go. We cross a crown and a bear skin on the way “bear crown”. We also have the one-eyed figure bearing crown, as a poor likeness of the guide, and a monk with a bare crown. We have the “old man” from native American myth and boy did we hit an “eyes” jackpot. All the eyes look at the little pull toy bird. It looks at the note on the door.

And a near-by looking glass helps bring to mind the Alice stories. There is a riddle there, “Why is a Raven like a writing desk?” One of many standard answers is “The notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes”. Thus we have a reason for that non-musical “note” to exist – on the door to 36 where real notes are heard – including the non-musical notes song by Raven while there. It is a final clue on the path to more than just a bird – but specifically a Raven.

Let’s look at a few leftover “looks” in Maze that I did not yet mention. In 9 we have “looks” and my room solution there is “look at Jack of Spades” – the only one eyed black card in the deck. 36, 20, and 3, mention the word look, and we can find one eyed things in each – but that is their only function I know of at this point.

OK – that is my current best “Raven” case – from this trail. Then there is the whole map being two eyes looking at one eye. And Poe’s Raven poem spelled out around the 1 eye. And the shadow in 35. Also the shadow in 37 of a dream catcher is just minor extra bit. “Magpies” in 34 is a small clue as well, since Magpies are very smart birds and part of the Raven or crow family. I discuss these other major clues below.

In room 35, the wooden thing in the middle of the room seems to be a mechanical railroad “stop” signal. It plays that role in a couple of puzzles – the Raven poem recited around a ring of rooms stops here, and it is a “stop” in the puzzle of the falling signs. But a “signal” is also a guide. And the guides shadow on the floor looks like Raven.

“Tribal fetish” = Native American Raven. “A work of art” is the Raven poem, read around a loop of rooms that ends here. We are given “signal” twice in the text. A token from the poem can be a signal. “Leave no token” from the poem and “take thy form from off my door” may correspond to the blank poster on the back wall. And “take thy beak from out my heart” may match up with the glove on the end of the “beak”. It also matches up with “I tried to hide my smile” from the text. The poem asks and states the name many times of course “Nevermore”. And this is may be the guide’s name. Or more to the point, he is Raven. A possibility – someone’s (apparent) basement could relate to someone’s foundation or soul, which would fit nicely with the poem.  “Still sitting” in the room may relate to the old broken couch”. “Alone in light and silence” = “leave my loneliness unbroken”. And the last line = “And the lamp light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor, and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted, nevermore. (And the shadow is Raven).

Here are the stanzas relevant to this room:

Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Let’s look to the Raven poem itself.

In room 14, the guide clues us to exit 10 by saying “I knew they couldn’t afford to not listen to me entirely”. This gives us license to listen to only part of what he says. We get “To go out choose ten, ten I say”. But then he also says “I knew she would bear watching” about the “thoughtful one” (bear is also a slight clue to other Raven stuff since he is indicated by a “bear crown”). “I know” starts both of those sentences. This gives us the license to do the same with her speech, here and elsewhere. Here we get not “We have to go out”, but “We have to go around to prove something”.

In room 9, in response to “We might be going around in circles” she then says “I think we’re supposed to, that’s the trick”.

In 35 she is aware this is a “stop signal” and this is where the clue we are following will end.

In 30 “perhaps it has been done so we don’t choose this door”. It means not to choose 34, but not in this room. In room 25, we have to choose 35 not 34 to go around the loop.

Based on our timekeeping we have a loop with all the letters “A-G” (assuming 35 is time “EG”. The musical room is one of the rooms so we can think of notes on a musical scale. The sequence starting with A is “33, 3, 9, 18, 13, 25, 35”).

The poem starts in the next room, 33. Those books are “volumes of forgotten lore” that we are over. One of the guests goes out to the middle over them. The dying embers wrought their ghost upon the “floor”, and look at the shadows the floor boards cast.  And the room number 33 upside down is EE as room 3 shows us. EE on the MAZE clock happens in room 13. The time there is a “fake noon” because this room 33 is at midnight, and by twisted maze logic an upside down 33 is then fake noon. The skeleton clock in 13 also helps show it to be midnight here. Its hands read as a clock in the “EA” position, and that is the time here. They indicate it is “witching hour” here. Also in room 3 (see that room) there are more clues relating to it being midnight here.

The drum above the door would make a tapping sound.

“With exaggerated caution” they go to the door in the text and notice the time it takes him to get to the door in the poem.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

This brings us to room 3. The last little bit seems to fit a little with room 3 but strongly with the next room, 9.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.

We have “all my soul with in me burning” = the stick man figure of “Manson” is over the radiator. And there is really a Christopher here! – (but maybe only his heart) We might now say “stop” is the heart of “Christopher”. “Let my heart be still” = Christopher’s heart is a “stop” sign.  We also have: ”and this mystery explore” = mystery or riddle of the sphinx. A subtle transition to the next room might be in “stepped” in the poem, and they went down a long flight of stairs.

In room 9 the lack of obeisance may mean the state the pictures are in. The angel would “flutter”. “Shorn” may be the cut off tails of the mice, and “shaven” may be the hidden beards of the “bearded men”. Plus in room 25 there is puzzle of the falling signs. It leads us to the idea that they represent “shutters” via “I measure camera stop time”.  So the big torn painting represents a shutter. This matches with “Open here I flung the shutter”. We have a “grave” in the floor matching with the “grave and stern” decorum of the Raven. The sun on the landscape could mean the “saintly days of yore” “Ghastly, grim” could fit our “Jack the ripper” determination (see room solution). “Ancient” could just be the stuff in this room.  “Night’s Plutonian shore” fits with it being 2 am here. “no living human being” also fits with death theme here. And we have:

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being…

Next we move on to room 18. “Eyes” is the answer to a half room puzzle there, and we have: “But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only, That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour”.

Other features of this room that go with the poem – “Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore”, “Dirges” fits the music and feel of this room. “A cushioned seat, in front of bird and bust and door”. Well we have a set in front of 13. And then we have one in front of the fire, and if we take the huge face as a bust and the dragon above it as both “bird and beast”, we have a good match. “Whose fiery eyes now burn into my bosom’s core” – this is self explanatory.

Here is the whole section of the poem:

…For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being.

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

13 – Now we come to room 13, where there is only a short bit of poem, and one match. “Cushion with lamp light gloating o’er”, fits with a seat and a lamp in this room..

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

In the next section of the poem he goes from calm to wide and horrified. Look at room 25. He is gently resting on a cushion until this point.

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Now in 35 – “Still sitting” in the room may relate to the old broken couch. “Tribal fetish” = Native American Raven. “A work of art” is the poem. “Alone in light and silence” = “leave my loneliness unbroken”. And the last line = “And the lamp light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor, and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted, nevermore. (And the shadow could be a Raven).

We are given “signal” twice in the text. A token from the poem can be a signal. “Leave no token” from the poem and “take thy form from off my door” may correspond to the blank poster on the back wall. And “take thy beak from out my heart” may match up with the glove on the end of the “beak”. It also matches up with “I tried to hide my smile” from the text.

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

By my rough count the poem is confirmed 5 times in room 33, 4 times in room 3, 8 times in room 9, 6 times in room 18, once in room 13, once in a very apt way in 25, and 7 times in room 35. This makes it about the most confirmed puzzle anywhere in the Maze I believe.

Some room level puzzles help clue us to Raven as well. Room 30 gives us an “I/eye door” – and maybe some . Room 9 has “Look at Jack of Spades”, the only one eyed black card.

Another is in room 17 it seems. He starts with “amphorea” as a word with good potential that he wants to use. In order to clue us we are free to add an ending he puts blanks on the sign. Without the blanks the sign could still give us “Y O U R” for the riddle of the path, and it could still give us “Why oh, you are…” to clue 6 as the place to start the riddle of the guide with only one blank. He gives us two blanks to try to say we can expand amphorea slightly, so we get “am for raven”. Or in a larger context with different punctuation – “am for ray”, I, pronounced “empty” – where the “pronounced empty” is the “ven” that we fill in. NOW he gives us the sand – very “part”icular stuff, to clue us we can shuffle the pieces. Result “For I am Raven”.

We also have another mini-multi-room puzzle of the leaning signs. Here is the inventory: The mirror in 7 leans. And then we have: The signs for 34 and 35 in room 25, the tower in room 20, the snakes in 21, the “Z” in 45, the men in 28/12, the dancers in 10. 34 is “I”. 35 is “Raven/Guide”, the tower can represent “revelation”, the snakes are “the Tao/Way/Path”, The “Z” I take as “IN”, the men are men, and the dancers are souls. Leaving out “Raven/Guide” and the mirror, I get: “I reveal path in men’s souls”. And I think both Raven and the mirror are supposed to do that when we look at them. It also serves to help us bring the pull-toy to the mirror in room 7 and is part of the room solution there. We get a lightbulb over our heads when we hold the bird to the mirror and see its one eye, and a message “Sight of true death and rebirth will strike man” – this last bit may need some work.

 

A form of "children" is found in 5 places. Prologue, 19, 26, 7, and 16. 26 has a separate function I believe. And we are supposed to infer "children" in 14 I think. The others are very guide connected places. In the prologue they don't see who he is because of being impatient. The other places a places we should pause to look for the guide. And then we have the child's toy in 7 - which I believe we are supposed to connect to the guide.

Finally - the guide is not the umbrella. Nor is "I rare bull man" a clue to his real identity. But it might be symbolic of the guide in another way. In 10 we use it to block the "rain" and in 8 in one puzzle it gives shade. The umbrella keeps yin and yang in balance. (See 19,31,21,44,3,36 for examples of yin/yang and balance in Maze)

 

The umbrella.

 

The umbrella waits outside the gate in the prologue just like the guide and in 10 the guide signals his approval and the umbrella points at the correct exit. The fact that we might take it with us is also “guide-like”. It’s a false guide symbol – partly picked, I believe because it is one letter short of containing “bull man” and the Minotaur is the major false guide of Maze. In 10 it forms part of a puzzle - we should take it with us to walk under the door with fresh paint. But I believe there is more. Where are they going? This hint is given in 10 and in 23. In 23, the open door leads to 28 and I think here and elsewhere this signals where the guests went. They went under the picture with the clouds – not to 8 and not outside to 19 where we tend to think. Now in 28 – the door to the “outside” is different in detail than the mirror room 12. There is rain at the top that we don’t see in 12. Also “outside” is give twice in the text –so outside would seem to be where they are going. This also works in room But this false door to the outside just goes to 43. A clue that we should take the real door in 12 to 21 might come from “it would have been a relief to get outside”. Also mentioned here are leaves blowing in the wind – which I’ll come back to. So outside to 21 we go. There are two trees here, presumably the ones with the leaves we saw blowing. The also might be mentioned in 44 so they might be important in some way. In 21 – I think we understand a lot of what is there. 88 piano keys for one thing. Maybe some vague Tao stuff. A black and white pair of snakes. Black and white bushes. Harmony. Balance. But we’ve not done much with that white bird. Notice that its eye is right in the middle of the door to 31 – and given the puzzle outlined above, this hints at this door being one eye. The two dark bushes and the wrench are under two other doors that make a nice two eye set. This should hint at something guide related. “We know what the name is” hints at this as well. Why is there only one white bird here when everything else white here is paired with black? Where is the black bird? Now look at the legs on that white bird – and now look at those two trees. Chilling, no? lol. But – it would explain why we might want an umbrella in this room… and notice the gate to 24 is between those “trees”.

 

The wall in 40

Here we find the “Riddle of Raven”.  45 says “Do you think it is written on the wall for all to see?” this clues us that the 2nd half of the riddle is indeed written on the wall, in room 40. The text says “what Maze teaches can be learned in every room” and this is a bit of a clue to decode room 40, since we need the “word value” for a number of Maze rooms to decode it.

The text mentions symbols for planets. There might be a symbol for Pluto, Roman god of the underworld. Pluto was still a planet when Manson wrote. Also, “Pluto” might be a small reference to the cat that runs through room 4, here in room 40. On the far right there is half of an “Earth” sign, which will be discussed below. The text mentions “hills” too, and I do believe there are “hills” there. The wind and water seem to be red herrings, and the guide does indicate he could read some of the symbols but not all.

The code on the wall can be read as follows: Count the number of pen strokes per symbol and then try to match this up to room numbers. Many rooms have an obvious word or phrase value associated with them, and in this way you can start building a message. One clue to do it this way is that one of the guests says the symbols appear to be primitive “signs”. If we interpret that to me numerical room signs, then we have a clue.

Look at the smallest grouping. We have 4 5 7. 7 is Raven and 45 is the Riddle. So we have “Raven riddle” it seems.

Let’s move to the bottom of the big wall. We have 3 and 4 = 34, and that is a pretty clear “I”.

That circle with a line through it I take as 10. That room = “measure”. Note that room 10 is clued by eyes and a line in room 34 and this symbol looks like and I with a line.

Next we have “3”, and that is “man”.

The double headed arrow that crosses to the other wall took awhile, I could not make it work with room numbers, so I take it as a symbol. It clearly is relational and should be a preposition. I used “against” because it makes sense in the sentence and with the picture. “By” or “with” work about as well.

The letter “A” is just “A”.

The ballerina is a “soul” as in the room 10 puzzle and like the stick man in 3. Anchorperson noted we might have the ballerina here (and daughter Emily did shortly after, independently). I think we will need “soul” not “sole” in the final puzzle too.

Next we could have a “T” and a “5”. T+root = troot = truth. But better – “T” is “path” from room 2, and 5 is “life” because of the Tree of Life there.

The square could be some sort of bridge or equal sign. Room 4 “it” would fit if we say “its”..

Next we have “2 “big lines and “3” little. Room 23.  “True” (in the pictures) is the key word I have.

The two in the far upper left can be “path”.

Next the “P” and the other things near it are “hills” as the text suggested. We have a “V” nearby. V+hill = Vill which is “will” if you are doing a German accent. It is close enough for us to get the meaning clearly and/or you can grab another hill and make that “V” into a “W”.  

Next is “8”, room 8’s key word is “strike”. Next “3” is “man” again.

Then that can’t be another 8 since it would make no sense, but it can be a “6” with “2” hash marks = 26 = atlas. This is clearly “At last” in context, and if you want you can grab that arrow head for the “T”.

The star seems to be a “3” and the “R” a 4, and I get room 43, and it’s hopeful message of “Keep believing in yourself”.

Put it all together and you have “I measure man by a soul(‘s) path (in) life”. “It(s) true path with strike man at last.” “Keep believing in yourself”. And then adding room 45’s content we have “All (oe None) will live in the world”. And like Atlas we bear the weight of the world on our shoulders. And this seems to me to be a general message that how you live your life is what is important. And that we have a responsibility for each other and for the planet.

The final wall has a symbol meaning “earth”, then an “=” and then a “3”, and we know room 3 means “man”, but man is also the answer to the riddle in that room. Put this wall together and you have “Earth = answer to riddle”.

Also the final wall can be read as “Man = answer” and in that case we have a message of “humanism” consistant with the values above.

The map

The path part of the map looks like a figure 8. Various clues related to time keeping above help us with this. There is an hour glass with a figure 8 loop in room 29 too. There are two rooms in the middle, rooms 2 and 5, and if you draw it you get a pair of eyes looking left.

The Trap is a key shape, a fact confirmed in room 38.

The loop can also be drawn as an eye. Rooms 33, 3, 9, 18, 13, 25, 35 form a circle and room 27 can be placed inside. The extra connection between 3 and 18 should be drawn outside the circle. This is the circle the Raven poem is recited around.

A string of 3 rooms connect the eye to the eyes. This shows us in pictorial form that the key is for us to look into the eye of Raven. The 3 rooms in between have word values as follows: I measure one. Room 10 is where the room “measure” is, and it seems that if you take the wrong turn to 14, you measure pretty small.

I don’t know that the few extra rooms make any shapes. Maybe the outdoor rooms make a raised eyebrow over the right human eye, but that’s about my only guess.

Also, my map of the maze is linked here.

Manson has placed the Tree of Life from Kabbalah in the meta-map of Maze. The first reference I found to it was on the wall in 39 where the trinity of barrels beneath it helped identify it. Here is a description of the sephira and how they match up to their rooms. See “sheet 1” of the map above to see the map of the Tree of life.

1) This room is one of the sephira. It is the top or crown. It is called “Keter” and is associated with radiance and the sun, and references to the sun are abundant in this room. It is also the “initial spark” appropriate for room 1. These rooms are generally marked in some way, and the rooms on the center branch of the tree all feature language involving choices and decisions representing branches. These feature prominently here.

20) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life. Many of these rooms are marked by living things as this one is. This sephira is called “Binah” or “understanding” particularly understanding gained through experience. The Tower represents “revelation” and fits well with this theme. And of course, since this is the last room of the path it can be assumed we have learned from experience here. “The wise old tortoise” helps with this idea as well.

30) This room is a sephira on the tree of Life. This one is known as “Hekhmah” or Wisdom and it is associated with the Male force. “NO EVE” fits well, and does the male symbol lying on the floor. It is associated with uncovering the hidden meaning in things. And the word “meant” appears 3 times in the text, and the word “significance” once. Many of the rooms are marked by living things. This one is marked by a (cut out) tree.

5) This room is one of the nodes or sephira on the Tree of life from mystical tradition. In fact this sephira is described as the Tree of Life itself. It is the point where the other 10 are united as one. Some sources describe the tree as having roots reaching upwards towards divinity, as these do here. And after noting this fact we have another exit indicator. The sign for 30 is the only one surrounded by the branches of the Tree of Life.

This room is on the central trunk of the tree have text relating to decisions and/or choices, that is – branches in the tree. The text here has that has “important decision” and “encouraged” just like room 11, another room on the central trunk of the tree. Room 1 also features the words “decisions” and “choices” as central to a room puzzle there. The sephira below here are sometimes called the Abyss. On a wiki page Aleister Crowley described the abyss: "This doctrine is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse, but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law. They are thus Insane Delusions... Now the Abyss being thus the great storehouse of Phenomena, it is the source of all impressions." No further comment needed…

42) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life and like many of those rooms in features a living (well stuffed) thing. This ones name is Hesed. It means loving kindness, and given the quote associated with this room, "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.", we have a good fit.

15) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life. As many rooms on the tree this one is marked by a living thing. (The bunny). It’s name is Gevarah and it can be associated with letting in the divine radiance from above, which is appropriate here. It is also associated with fear and awe, and the image of firefighters can fit here. 

4) This room is one of the nodes or sephira on the Tree of Life from mystical and alchemical traditions. It is on the center trunk and rooms here make reference to choices or decisions in some way. Here the reference in more muted in the form of the flipping coins, but there is a connection to room 40 here, also a central node, where they choose at random. Tree of Life rooms tend to feature Trees or living animals, and here we have the black cat. Both here and in 11 the many doors (branches) are mentioned, and both rooms are on the center trunk of the tree.

This sephira is called Tiferet. In is, not surprisingly, associated with the sun. It occupies a central position in the Tree of Life much as the sun occupies a central position in the solar system (and in MAZE room 4 is in the middle of the figure 8). 

22) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life. This one is called “Hod”, in means “splendor” and this gaudy room is appropriate. It is also associated with Thanksgiving and we can connect that with the Sabbath day found in this room.

43) This room is a sephira on the tree of life. This one is known as “Natzat”. It is associated with “inspiring confidence” and the message here to “Keep believing in yourself” seems to fit well.

40) Regarding the Tree of Life, room 40 is one of the nodes or “sephira” on the central branch. These rooms feature language relating to choices or decision. There is a somewhat muted reference here to choosing pretty much at random, which connects to room 4 which is also a center sephira. The choices can be seen as branches. This sephira is known as “Yesad” it means “foundation” and we can note that the text calls this the “foundation of the MAZE” it is also associated strongly associated with “truth” which is a word that appears on the wall a couple of times.

11) This room is one of the “nodes” or “sephira”. The rooms along the center stem generally emphasize decisions and/or choices (The many branches or paths that connect to the center stem). This room gives us “this is an important choice” and “trying to encourage them” which closely matches the language in room 5, which is also on the center stem of the tree. The many doors here echo the many doors in room 4, another room on the center stem of the tree. “Choices and decisions” also play a role in the main room 1 puzzle.

This sephir” is the lowest one, the farthest one from the emanations of God. It is associated with the lowest body parts, either feet of anus, where waste is removed, and I guess if we head into room 24 here, that might be what we are. It relates to the physical world of “earth” and again the next step down seems to be under earth then or the underworld. I have found it described as the negative node on an electric circuit, which recycles energy back to the upper nodes, and this fits with what we see here. “Lowliness” is used to describe this sephira as well, and that may fit with the small stature we have here.

Final Message

So the puzzle of the MAZE is “In what House will all live?”

The answer is “the World”. So “All will live in the world”.

The clue was – “Like Atlas you bear it upon your shoulders” – the World and maybe the “Weight of the world” as well.

Add to this wall 40 and put it all together and you have “I measure man by a soul(‘s) path (in) life”. “It(s) true path with strike man at last.” “Keep believing in yourself”. And then adding room 45’s content we have “All (or None) will live in the world”.  And this seems to me to be a general message that how you live your life is what is important. And that we all have to be in this together or we will all die together. And we have a responsibility for the planet and each other – the weight of the world

The final wall has a symbol meaning “earth”, then an “=” and then a “3”, and we know room 3 means “man”, but man is also the answer to the riddle in that room. Put this wall together and you have “Earth = answer to riddle”.

Also the final wall can be read as “Man = answer” and in that case we have a message of “humanism” consistant with the values above.

At least that is my best try at this time.

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.