# The newcomers' maze

I just joined Puzzling Stack Exchange, and the moderators decided to put me through a test to validate my account. They brought me to an unknown island, where lies nothing but a maze:

I managed to find the exit, and the moderators told me I could ask them for one favor. I said I wanted to go home, but apparently my request needed to be more precise, and now I don't want to waste my chance to fly away from this island!

Hint:

This hint has been deleted by the moderators. Anyone in good shape should be able to escape such an elementary maze without hints.

Hint 2:

I decided to revisit the accessible part of the labyrinth to see if I missed anything, but the moderators told me that every element was already there. I feel like there is only one fraction of the puzzle hidden in the inaccessible part.

• I love your first hint :-D Dec 4, 2023 at 14:41

You need to request to fly away by

Helicopter

Why?

If we overlay the accessible part of the maze by the periodic table of the elements, then walk through the optimal path from start to finish, while writing down every 15th element (as hinted in the inaccessible part), we get: Li, Pt, Co, Er, He. Or, reordered: HeLiCoPtEr!

• Well done! And thanks everyone for giving my puzzle a try, it’s actually so much fun to see people figuring it out bit by bit! Dec 5, 2023 at 20:17

The maze itself is easy to solve, but obviously that's not the main part of the puzzle:

My first thought was that

the path of the maze solution might be meant to indicate something - looks a bit like an elephant on the left, maybe a snake on the right?

But then I hit on something better:

looking at the bits of unused maze at the top, some of those shapes look like letters! Specifically, the top left corner looks a lot like .gif, so I think the missing tag on this enigmatic puzzle could be .

However, I haven't been able to figure out

the exact sequence of letters we're supposed to be looking for. There's a pretty clear S shape on the right (although that could be S or s or 5), and to the left of that is what looks like a t, then probably either i or I, then what must be a d, but I'm stuck on the lightning-bolt type symbol to the left, just right of the .gif: is it a z or Z or N, maybe? I've done a lot of hunting through Stack Imgur URLs with various combinations of these characters, but so far haven't found any new images.

• There is no external link to be found! rot13(Lbh unir n tbbq vqrn ybbxvat ng funcrf, ohg orvat noyr gb ernq gur jbeq tvs va gur gbc yrsg pbeare jnf npghnyyl abg cneg bs gur chmmyr naq unccrarq gb or n yhpxl zvfgnxr. V’z tbvat gb qb n fyvtug punatr ba gur ynolevagu gb nibvq zvfyrnqvat pyhrf.) Dec 2, 2023 at 23:15
• for some reason, rot13(gur yrsgbiref ybbx yvxr fbzr bgure xvaq bs chmmyr…) Dec 3, 2023 at 18:23
• rot13(Gurer ner funcrf gb erpbtavmr, naq gur fbyhgvba cngu unf vgf vzcbegnapr, ohg gur vqrn bs qvivqvat gur cngu jvgu cragbzvarf vf n ovg bss-genpx. V nqqrq n arj uvag vs lbh jnag gb tvir gur chmmyr nabgure gel!) Dec 4, 2023 at 14:21
• rot13(Sbyybjvat gur 'ryrzragny' ersreraprf, gur npprffvoyr cneg bs gur znmr pna or bireynvq jvgu gur crevbqvp flfgrz bs ryrzragf. Gur cngu fgnegf ng Henavhz naq rkvgf ng Uryvhz. Gur qrnq raqf ner ng gur ryrzragf Zq, Cz, Rh, Tq, Se, Nh, Co, Ng, Fp, Sr, Tr, Xe, C, F, O, A naq U. Fbzr znl or uvagvat ng Rhebcrna ybpngvbaf (Senapvhz, Treznavhz?) be pbhagel pbqrf... Gur uvag va gur vanpprffvoyr cneg bs gur znmr znl or 115 juvpu cbvagf ng Zbfpbivhz, nabgure Rhebcrna ybpngvba...) Dec 4, 2023 at 15:38
• You’re definitely onto something here ;) I’m sorry if I missed tags in the puzzle - I’m actually new to the website and I don’t want to be misleading in any way. rot13(115 ner vaqrrq qvtvgf gung pna or sbhaq, ohg guvaxvat engvbanyyl, vg jbhyq or jrveq gb unir fvpu n fcnpr orgjrra gur gjb 1f, fb gurer zhfg or fbzrguvat urer, evtug?) Dec 4, 2023 at 22:39