Last night was amazing! For the first time in the 30 years since I’ve known about Maze I was able to navigate the maze, going from page 1 to 45 and back to page 1 in 16 steps! I’ll admit that I didn’t do it by solving every page solution, but for me, drawing my own version of the maze, and figuring it out logically was very satisfying and a lot of fun.
So, obviously, I found the solution to the problem from my last post. I’m not sure whether I lucked into it, or whether finding it this way was intentional by design. In my room connection analysis there are a few unlabeled entrances or exits that still don’t match up to anything, so I figured that maybe one of the other rooms that had a missing connection that might connect to room 17.
There is a doorway on page 39 that’s all bricked up, and it doesn’t have an obvious number attached to it. So I figured that maybe it went to room 17 and I tried to find a connection. There’s a picture of a jester’s cap over the bricked up door, and the guide mentions that there is a faint jingling coming from behind the doorway. So I looked for jesters in other rooms.
There is an upside down man with what looks like jester’s feet on page 29, and the shadow of the feet on the sheet covering the wall behind him kind of looks like a jester’s hat. Then I realized that the sheet on page 29 could easily be hiding another door in the room due to the size of the sheet and how the other doors in the room are arranged. The upside down 17 in the candelabra in the room is fairly obvious, but I always figured it had something to do with the room’s puzzle rather than an actual door number. But if you turn the page upside down, the 17 is over the area that the sheet is covering the door with. It’s a perfectly hidden door number right in plain sight. Well played Mr. Manson.
That gives me a connection from room 29 to room 17 through a hidden door. Once that connection is made, I took the first few rooms that I went through and found the few intervening steps between page 30 and page 29, which makes a direct connection to page 45. After that, I spend some time playing around with the rest of the room connections to find the shortest route back to 1. There are several ways to get from 1 to 45 and back to 1 again, but the shortest one I found, that takes exactly 16 steps, is shown below:
To make it easier to view, I removed all the connections to other rooms in the maze. So the shortest route through Maze that includes going to Room 45 is as follows:
1 26 30 42 4 29 17 45 23 8 12 39 4 15 37 20 1
Or by number of steps:
Step 1: Room 1 to Room 26
Step 2: Room 26 to Room 30
Step 3: Room 30 to Room 42
Step 4: Room 42 to Room 4
Step 5: Room 4 to Room 29
Step 6: Room 29 to Room 17
Step 7: Room 17 to Room 45
Step 8: Room 45 to Room 23
Step 9: Room 23 to Room 8
Step 10: Room 8 to Room 12
Step 11: Room 12 to Room 39
Step 12: Room 39 to Room 4
Step 13: Room 4 to Room 15
Step 14: Room 15 to Room 37
Step 15: Room 37 to Room 20
Step 16: Room 20 to Room 1
I enjoy how the shortest path that includes Room 45 creates a figure 8 through room 4, or if you turn my solution on it’s side it creates an infinity symbol.
It’s an example of the effort Manson put into building elegant solutions for Maze.