Entry into the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #33 - Surface Geometry Mazes (Sorry - slightly late)

My distant grandfather passed away recently. I didn't know him very well, he was very secretive and reclusive. I was surprised to find he's left me something in his will. It came in the post the next day.

He'd left me his old computer. It was pretty ancient, you could tell just by looking at it. On opening it I found two things: one - the password was still enabled, two - my grandfather had left a note.

And it seems that perhaps my grandfather perhaps was still alive...

Here is the note:

enter image description here

It was a maze filled with characters and a riddle. I couldn't make heads or tails of it - so I've copied the maze onto a Google Slides document. I have also copied out the riddle:

A maze that forms two cylinders,
One north to south, one east to west.
The maze itself couldn’t be simpler,
It will be much harder solving the rest.
The trails not taken give a phrase,
Encoded with a special key.
Make your way through the maze,
Get the key, solve the cipher,
Take initials and come find me.

Can you help me find the password?

Hint #1:


  • $\begingroup$ If anyone wants clarification on the letters, or a transcript of something then ping me $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 19:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ :3 Your imgur link is saSSy.png $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @feelinferrety I noticed that the other day :P $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 21:35

1 Answer 1



Drawn-upon maze
Assumptions were that two paths needed to be found, one horizontal, one vertical, both starting and ending at the central blank space

If you do this the correct way, rather than an arbitrary way...

The path spells:

Once Upon A Time
Someone Wrote This Rhyme
To Hand Over a Message
That this is just a presage
Take the following letters In Twos
To Find The Next Of The Clues
The final answer has letters ten,
use it find me and see you then

Leftover Letters (Provided by Beastly because I apparently am illiterate)



Applying a key of LOCK (Grid coordinates give KEY IS LOCK) yields some words, although they don't make a whole lot of sense when stuck together...
Patterns Are the Heroes Salvaged And Words Even Negative Ones Would Talk In Many Endless Situations Some Even May Ideally Think What Only Near Early Wishes Are Sadly Held To And Postulate

The initials yield

PATHS AWE NOW TIMES SEMI TWO NEW ASH TAP, which Deusovi helped point out is a PALINDROME, and so we have our password.

  • $\begingroup$ Good start!. I don't think you were looking at your feet when walking that path though ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ (The idea [The FTC is surface geometry mazes] was to be able to roll the maze into two tubes so that the top of the blue path and the bottom where connected, and same with red - but how you've done it works fine) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ PS. Your leftovers aren't correct. Should be 'aovdpfpclfgdssjoccgcdonflugnlbfgzffcpjgxysikewxozbgchcwvohcvvwpwlbaoyrnodguseicdtcpcdcoopjgxxoasoscvwmvrtbmgsovyyzaxpotolfnihwurpgcbpgcnwmjowrvylbfzzgvewovo' - just gonna provide transcription $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ I did roll it (mentally) as two cylinders, that's how they can all have both ends at their central blank space... @Oray, probably because I'm an idiot? :) Also I did it partially backwards so it started gibberishly :) $\endgroup$
    – Sconibulus
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ You have it (Almost) right - check NEARLY again. Where it says WHO N WASH - where did that H come from? And the O in TOP? check again... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 20:44

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