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Below there is a maze that is made out of small rebuses. And when I say small, I mean really small: every rebus is only 18x18 pixels!

All rebuses can be solved independently from each other, and produces 1-4 letters each. The number of letters tells the direction you have to go, but you have to figure out which number of letters corresponds with which direction (up, right, left, down).

When you are looking for the way to go, you may even get some bonus points! But watch out for dead ends!

I am looking for a final answer that is a single word (kind of)

Original size:

rebuses maze

Same picture, but zoomed in for easier solving: rebuses maze zoomed in

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    $\begingroup$ Beautiful pixel art btw. $\endgroup$
    – qwr
    Aug 29 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ Is it just me or are the rebuses kind of simple? Or am I just being tricked? $\endgroup$ Aug 29 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ @newQOpenWid With this quantity to solve, I think you'd want them to be simple! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Aug 30 at 6:19
  • $\begingroup$ @newQOpenWid, I guess creating this one was more challenging than solving. And making them more difficult, often makes it impossible and really ambiguous, especially with that few pixels. And I didn't want that. And there are still some rebuses unsolved, so maybe you can help Benjamin to complete his answer ;) $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Aug 30 at 7:18

2 Answers 2

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The hidden question in the rebuses is:

FOLLOW THE PATH OF THESE REBUSES TO GET THE FINAL ANSWER WHICH IS THE BEST PUZZLING WEBSITE IN THE WORLD

From trying to string together words, we deduce the direction that corresponds to each possible number of letters:

1: down, 2: right, 3: left, 4: up

The full maze is visualised below

Percentage (%) signs indicate the start of a phrase.
No arrows are shown out of the end of a phrase.
Uppercase for main path, lowercase for other paths


  OW  >  TH  >  E      rr  >  ed  >  he  >  rr  > ings    IN  >  GW  >  E
  ^^            vv     ^^                                 ^^            vv
 %FOLL% %stop%  P     utfo    TH  >  EB  >  ES  >  TP  > UZZL  %null%   B
                vv     ^^     ^^                                        vv
  H   < OFT  < ATH    tcho   CHIS   %ex% > tr   >  a      T   < EIN  < SIT
  vv                   ^^     ^^                   vv     vv
  E     %pl% >  ea  > sewa   RWHI < SWE  < LAN     r      H     hing <%not%
  vv                                        ^^     vv     vv
  S     %bo% >  nu  >  sp  >  oi  >  nt    FINA    e      EW  >  OR  >  LD
  vv                                        ^^     vv
  ER  >  EB  >  US  >  ES  >  TO  >  GE  > TTHE    dh  >  er  >  ri  >  ng
 

If we remove the following non-solution paths:

BONUS POINT
PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR RED HERRINGS
EXTRA RED HERRING
NOTHING
STOP
NULL

We get the following path (thanks OP @Lezzup)


  OW  >  TH  >  E                                         IN  >  GW  >  E
  ^^            vv                                        ^^            vv
 FOLL           P             TH  >  EB  >  ES  >  TP  > UZZL           B
                vv            ^^                                        vv
  H   < OFT  < ATH           CHIS                         T   < EIN  < SIT
  vv                          ^^                          vv
  E                          RWHI < SWE  < LAN            H
  vv                                        ^^            vv
  S                                        FINA           EW  >  OR  >  LD
  vv                                        ^^
  ER  >  EB  >  US  >  ES  >  TO  >  GE  > TTHE
 

which,

by following the path of the rebuses as instructed, it gives the three letters pse, the initials of PuzzlingStackExchange (final answer), which is indeed a puzzling website! Some may even say it's the greatest of them all.

What an amazing puzzle! There were 8 rebuses I had to reverse-engineer (5 on the main path), but I'm glad I worked it out. Credits for a few rebuses are listed below.

Full rebus solution:

1st row:

OW = OWL - L
TH = THORIUM = element 90
E = musical note in bass clef
RR = pigpen cipher
ED = character in Ed, Edd n Eddy (thank you @samm82)
HE = HELIUM = element 2
RR = Reverse x 2, from a picture of a gear stick
INGS = RINGS - R
IN = going INto a door
GW = 1 million kW (G = giga, meaning 10^12)
E = e, the mathematical constant, decimal approximation

2nd row:

FOLL = FALL (autumn, and falling leaves) with A -> O
STOP = a stop sign
P = PI - I
UTFO = UFO placed into the green spots
TH = pattern 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
EB = ELBOW - LOW
ES = SPAIN = country code top level domain
TP = TAP - A
UZZL = Pentomino naming convention
NULL = BULL with B -> N
B = BEE - EE

3rd row:

H = E + 3 = count up 3 from E: F G H
OFT = OUT with U -> F
ATH = BATH - B
TCHO = MATCH - MA + O
CHIS = CHI (Greek letter) + S
EX = IBEX - IB
TR = TREE - EE
A = ACORN - CORN
T = TEA - EA
EIN = (GENIE - GE) backwards
SIT = a stick figure sitting on a chair

4th row:

E = musical note in the treble clef
PL = POLAND = country code top level domain
EA = EAR - R
SEWA = SEWER with ER -> A
RWHI = R + WHIP - P
SWE = SWEDEN's ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 abbreviation (thanks OP @Lezzup)
LAN = FAN with F -> L
R = HORSE - HOSE
H = HAT - AT
HING = (chess) KING - 3, where H is 3 lower than K: I J K
NOT = NOTICE - ICE (thanks @samm82)

5th row:

S = SOUTH (compass direction)
BO = BOOK - OK (hand signal)
NU = Greek letter
SP = Reinterpret the Morse Code of IEAN, ignoring spaces
OI = Pigpen cipher
NT = Braille (take the mirror image of this entire rebus)
FINA = CHINA with CH -> F
E = mc^2 (mass-energy equivalence)
EW = EU (European Union) with U -> W
OR = logic gate symbol
LD = LED (Light Emitting Diode) - E

6th row

ER = TV Series running from 1994 to 2009, also red cross = Emergency Room
EB = EBB (of tide water) - B
US = United States
ES = EINSTEINIUM = element 99
TO = TWO - W
GE = command for "greater or equal to"
TTHE = (THETA (Greek letter) - last letter), 4th moved to front
DH = Norse runes (thanks @samm82)
ER = HEART - HAT
RI = Rhode Island
NG = NU (Katakana) with U -> G

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    $\begingroup$ As well as explaining each rebus you should really post an image of the path through the maze too, e.g. indicated by a line. A good answer on this site tends to be one which allows someone else to follow your solution path and thought process, to help them understand the puzzle fully - explanation is what we're after... Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Aug 30 at 6:16
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    $\begingroup$ Now that's much better and I can happily +1 this now as a good and useful answer :) Definitely best to use as few spoilers as possible for the rebuses - the way you've done it here (by row) is perfect; nobody wants to click on 66 individual spoilers! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Aug 30 at 8:26
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @Stiv for your nice note and edits! $\endgroup$ Aug 30 at 8:28
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    $\begingroup$ Very well done, @Benjamin! For Sweden, I had ISO-3166 in mind, then you'll know what alpha-3 means ;) $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Aug 30 at 8:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Benjamin, did you answer the final question as your own opinion, or did you find the answer in the maze? If you include that last small step as well, then I'll accept the answer. (It may help to color in the maze) If it was just your own opinion, you were only accidentally right :) $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Aug 30 at 8:49
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Benjamin's accepted answer is great and amazingly thorough, so I won't go over the solution to every single rebus again. I just want to share how I found the solution because it's more visual and I think it more clearly shows how the rebuses form a maze to reveal the final answer.

Solving each rebus square gives us the following grid:

An 11x6 grid showing the solution to each rebus puzzle.

By finding patterns of words and phrases, I deduced that

1 letter = Down
2 letters = Right
3 letters = Left, and
4 letters = Up.

Then for each rebus square,

I knocked down the wall pointing in the corresponding direction to reveal the full layout of the maze (which can be broken up into color-coded sections): An 11x6 grid showing the maze of rebus solutions. Each of 7 distinct areas in the maze is filled with a different color.

Ignoring all red herrings, the main path through the maze gives us the clue:

FOLLOW THE PATH OF THESE REBUSES TO GET THE FINAL ANSWER WHICH IS THE BEST PUZZLING WEBSITE IN THE WORLD

and of course,

the path itself spells out PSE for Puzzling Stack Exchange, the best puzzling site on the world wide web. An 11x6 grid showing the solution to each rebus puzzle. The main path, which spells out the letters PSE, is highlighted in green.

This was a lot of fun! Thanks for coming up with it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Zac, welcome to Puzzling! And the visuals are a great addition to Benjamin's answer. +1 $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Aug 31 at 21:46

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