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A maze is a puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route. This is different from a labyrinth, which has an unambiguous through-route and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.

One type consists of a set of rooms linked by doors (so a passageway is just another room in this definition). You enter at one spot, and exit at another, or the idea may be to reach a certain spot in the maze.

Mazes have been built with walls and rooms, with hedges, turf, or crops such as corn or, indeed, maize, or with paving stones of contrasting colors or designs.

Mazes can also be drawn on paper to be followed by a pencil.

One of the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges featured a book that was a literary maze.

Various maze generation algorithms exist for building mazes, either by hand or by computer.

Table of contents
1 Solving Mazes
2 Mazes open to the public
3 Maze by Christopher Manson
4 External Links

Solving Mazes

The best-known rule for traversing mazes is known as either the left-hand rule or the right-hand rule. By keeping one hand in contact with one wall of the maze, you are guaranteed not to get lost, and will either reach the exit or return to the entrance. If the maze is simply connected, i.e. all its walls are connected together, this method will cause you to traverse the whole of the maze. If not, it will not help you to find the disjoint parts of the maze.

The mathematician Leonhard Euler was one of the first to analyse mazes mathematically, and in doing so founded the science of topology.

Mazes open to the public

Maze by Christopher Manson

Maze (Henry Holt & Company, Inc.; (February 1989) ), billed as "The World's Hardest Puzzle", is a 45-room house in the form of a book. A party of naive adventurers is led through by an unnamed poet, whose identity is a subject of much speculation. Each page is a room, with hundreds of possible visual clues in the picture along with the numbers of the rooms that can be entered, and a page describing the actions of the narrator and the adventurers which may contain even more clues. The object is to reach the "center" (Page 45), answer the riddle found there, and get back out in the fewest possible steps (16).

External Links