Join 3,513 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A riddle wrapped in a maze wrapped in a book wrapped in a website
June 8, 2005 12:10 AM   Subscribe

The Maze. From the annals of the Internet: Before there was The Riddle, there was this "virtual space in the shape of a book" based on the quaintly illustrated Maze by Christopher Manson. Find the shortest path in and out of the maze, from Room 1 to Room 45 (the center) and back. At Room 45 is another riddle, whose answer is concealed somewhere in that shortest path, which, if you are clever, you can make in only 16 steps. "Anything in this space might be a clue. Not all clues are necessarily trustworthy."
posted by Lush (25 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a work of genious aside, it is pretty nifty. Beware Room 24.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:13 AM on June 8, 2005


Aha! Not all entrances are:
...room x
...room y
...room z

Clues in a series of rooms may relate to one another, and may indicate a path.
Yup. Damn nifty post man.

(Delete this if you think it's a spoiler)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:36 AM on June 8, 2005


I had endless fun trying to figure out Maze as a kid; my battered copy is sitting on a bookshelf not ten feet from me right now. I still remember the incredible AHA! moment when I sussed out the shortest path.

I can't remember if I figured out Room 45 or not, but I'm glad for the opportunity to dive back in and find out.
posted by Inkslinger at 2:00 AM on June 8, 2005


One complaint, it is hard to see the clues closely given the size of the pictures... I've taken to cutting and pasting them & blowing them up.
I agree Inkslinger, this is truly engrossing. First time I've seen it. I'm probably posting more than I should, but very few people around so...
posted by Smedleyman at 2:09 AM on June 8, 2005


... my battered copy is sitting on a bookshelf not ten feet from me right now. I still remember the incredible AHA! moment when I sussed out the shortest path.

Sort of like porn eh Inkslinger? As soon as you get to the AHA! moment, you close the book and put it on the shelf. After the moment's passed and you've forgotten it, then you can pick it up again.

Nice find Lush.
posted by three blind mice at 3:00 AM on June 8, 2005 [1 favorite]


Odd and compelling, or maybe just oddly compelling. This reminds me of the library in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.

Knowing that room 45 is the center, I can probably find the shortest way in and out by trial and error. The "clues" aren't suggesting anything to me yet, though. Maybe I haven't looked around enough.

Of course, there's always the distinct possibility that I'm absolutely stupid....
posted by alumshubby at 5:19 AM on June 8, 2005


Of course, there's always the distinct possibility that I'm absolutely stupid.... Erm, me too. I think smedleyman is right about the size of the pics. I'm very intrigued but think I may pick up the book and then come back to it. My ten year old daughter would certainly enjoy this.
posted by horseblind at 5:33 AM on June 8, 2005


Well, here comes another wasted day at work...
posted by ChrisTN at 5:36 AM on June 8, 2005


Wow...I actually worked at Henry Holt as an editorial assistant on that book and CD-ROM. It was basically the first commercial CD-ROM I ever worked on. (I'm trying to remember whether it ever even got made--I think the version I worked on got cancelled, and the electronic version got published later by someone else.)

Manson was a very interesting guy. Almost obsessed with puzzles and such, but with obviously solid illustrative talent. Really seemed to be thrilled to be making a living making this kind of book--it was nice.
posted by LairBob at 6:19 AM on June 8, 2005


I'm not sure I have the concentration on the internet to get through this, but it seems very cool. I can't see a damn thing in the picutres, though, and I dislike the "guide."
posted by OmieWise at 6:21 AM on June 8, 2005


Anyone know of a walkthrough online anywhere? I'm just too darn busy today, but very intrigued.
posted by surferboy at 7:11 AM on June 8, 2005


I goddamn loved this book when I got it years and years ago. Never solved it, but made that candlestick breakthrough in 7th grade. Seems like each time through, I find something else.
posted by droob at 7:50 AM on June 8, 2005


Oh, this was such a cool little book. I'm lousy at puzzles, so I never got very far with it, but the illustrations were fascinating. I think that's one reason I never got anywhere... I was so fascinated by ALL of the details on each page, I wouldn't get around to trying to pick up which ones were the clues.
posted by BoringPostcards at 8:13 AM on June 8, 2005


I remember trying to figure this out as a kid...and not doing very well. Any clues?
posted by blahblahblah at 8:18 AM on June 8, 2005


solving Maze
posted by papercake at 8:19 AM on June 8, 2005


One complaint, it is hard to see the clues closely given the size of the pictures... I've taken to cutting and pasting them & blowing them up.

If you're using Firefox, it would do you well to install the Image Zoom extension, which is wondrously useful for all sorts of other things as well!
posted by Lush at 8:30 AM on June 8, 2005


"Anyone know of a walkthrough online anywhere? "
I suspect the walkthrough would not help in solving how to deduce the paths or solve the riddle, which appears to be the maze itself (I've been to the middle room, just an abundance of clues) instead of simply getting in and out.
(For example - in the first room: sinister = left, sun glared at me + we know the guide is not to be fully trusted - like written backwards - so is that 'akin to' or the reverse since it's backwards? etc. etc.)

So:
A yarn is a long pointless story (Theseus used string to escape the labyrinth - but no bull or other symbols).
Tale and story have similar literary meanings (and the references life+story + soul)
A soulless tale then would be....?
Other stuff there too, but anyway, since fable is a false artifice and the protagonist is a fox /trickster I went thru there.

Hmmm... it occurs to me just now the devil is also in fables.
Damn brain! Get to work!
...speaking of work, here comes my boss...
posted by Smedleyman at 12:45 PM on June 8, 2005


Thanks, Lush. I'll do that.

This "who are you" thing is a recurring theme.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:49 PM on June 8, 2005


Just type "45" in the URL.

That was easy.
posted by Eideteker at 7:33 PM on June 8, 2005 [1 favorite]


Man, I loved this book in the 5th grade. I could never figure it out. I mapped it out and everything, but I was way too literal ...


... unfortunately, it seems I still am.
posted by joe_murphy at 8:34 PM on June 8, 2005


*Hint* The clue here it to click on the doors in the picture and not on the hyperlinks below the picture. Man, I feel slow today.
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:05 PM on June 8, 2005


Spoiled here. I really would never have gotten that from that tiny image.
posted by Eideteker at 11:29 AM on June 9, 2005


Aha! Of COURSE!!!!


I'm such a fool and I've been taken for a walk. Amphorae indeed!45 rooms.
22 Major Arcana with 4 suits of minor arcana (of 4 trump cards each - Ace, Page, King, Queen, Knave) = 46, but the fool is numbered zero, so 45.

Given that and the clues I managed to decipher, I have no doubt what the answer is.
...sort of a roundabout way to solve the final puzzle - but I know who the host is too. I suppose it pays to have a Bruja Sicillian grandmother....

That was DAMN nifty Lush! Thanks!
posted by Smedleyman at 2:57 PM on June 9, 2005


Yep. I'm right (according to the spoiler) I don't see anything about the host though....
posted by Smedleyman at 3:00 PM on June 9, 2005


for those complaining bout the tiny pictures,
Pornzilla has bookmarklets for Firefox which let you zoom in and out of pics with one click. Albeit it was designed for a different purpose ;) A benign sort of function creep.
posted by Edible Energy at 8:51 AM on June 12, 2005


« Older I first saw Chel White's Photocopy Cha Cha (mpg ex...  |  A White House aide with no sci... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments