# We solved the invisible maze

We did it! We finally solved the invisible maze! In case anyone else wants to try, I'll reproduce our steps here.

Here's the maze:

The rules:

1. All walls except for the outer ones are thin, invisible glass. There is no way to know there's a wall there until you touch it.
2. If you touch a wall, you lose. No retries.
3. The inside is divided into rectangular "rooms", all of which are the same size. We don't know how many there are, though.
4. From every room, you can get to the eight surrounding rooms (up/down, left/right, and diagonally). Unless there's a wall in the way, of course.

Here's how we found our way through:

• We tried to divine the answers from a dairy product prepared in dark hardwood.
• We searched for hints in a global information network for people's cats and dogs.
• We perused the text of a Nordic heroic poem.
• We asked someone extremely knowledgeable about the types of human perception.
• We enlisted the help of a dead person with combat experience.
• We interviewed people who make their living selling German cars.
• We took advantage of the power of the Sun's radiation.
• We employed people with telepathic powers.
• We visited a distant Norwegian island in search for clues.
• Finally, we inspected our molars to find hidden information.

Can you follow our footsteps and beat the invisible maze?

Note: some of these things are made up. (In case it wasn't clear from step 2 already)

Edit: I'll give up the first line, since looking at this again that one turned out nigh-impossible when you don't know the objective. The answer to the first line is

ebony cheese

The other answers make a bit more sense, I promise.

One line has already been solved correctly by Astralbee:

wisdom teeth

• I'm so tempted to paste the same image from the question in an answer, and state that the path has been drawn in invisible ink. – Phylyp Jan 15 at 13:26
• I tried the "go under paint and use bucket tool" trick. but the fact is, the maze REALLY is invisible :( – Flying_whale Jan 15 at 13:28

Invisible, shminvisible! It's obvious that ...

... there are 121 rooms in the grid, arranged in a 11×10 grid. You can traverse the maze safely on this path:

        # . . . . . . # # . #
. # . . . . # . . # .
# . . . . . . # . . .
. # . . # # . . # . .
. # . # . # . # . . .
. . # . . # . . # . .
. . . . . # . # . . .
. . . . . # . . # . .
. . . . . . # . . # .
. . . . . . . # # . .


The clues:

The hints give us the answers to two clues, ebony cheese and wisdom teeth. Both have eleven letters. Both have a double e. Both consist of two words. Some of that turns out not to be significant, but looking for words with eleven letters seems promising: We have ten clues and the outline of the maze in the image is 220 pixels by 200 pixels. So let's hop that jafe has given us a visual clue here. The answers are:

ebony cheese — provided by OP in hint 1
pet internet
eddic poetry
sense expert — already guessed by Pugmonkey
wereveterans — are werewolves dead or undead? Hm.
Opel sellers
solar energy
Spitsbergen — the old Dutch name for Svalbard
wisdom teeth — provided by OP in hint 2

We can lay out the answers in a grid:

        e b o n y c h e e s e
p e t i n t e r n e t
e d d i c p o e t r y
s e n s e e x p e r t
w e r e v e t e r a n
o p e l s e l l e r s
s o l a r e n e r g y
m i n d r e a d e r s
s p i t s b e r g e n
w i d s o m t e e t h


Now what?

Notice how each answer has at least two e's? They mark the safe path through the maze:

        # b o n y c h # # s #
p # t i n t # r n # t
# d d i c p o # t r y
s # n s # # x p # r t
w # r # v # t # r a n
o p # l s # l l # r s
s o l a r # n # r g y
m i n d r # a d # r s
s p i t s b # r g # n
w i d s o m t # # t h


• Nice work! It's fitting that it's you who solved this, since it was your comments in an earlier puzzle that gave me the idea in the first place :) – jafe Jan 27 at 21:44

At first, I thought the answers to each line of the riddle formed an acrostic, but as many of the answers that I can figure out appear to start with the letters of a compass direction (N,S,E,W) I think they are the sequence of steps. Not sure how the diagonal directions, if used, would be denoted.

We tried to divine the answers from a dairy product prepared in dark hardwood.

Not sure, but from the diagram you must enter and exit the maze by going east so it has to be E - possibly Emental cheese? It is sometimes oak-smoked.

We searched for answers in a global information network for people's cats and dogs.

Not sure.

We perused the text of a Nordic heroic poem.

Edda - an epic Norse poem

We asked someone extremely knowledgeable about the types of human perception.

Not sure. James J. Gibson wrote the Direct Theory of Perception

We enlisted the help of a dead person with combat experience.

Not sure.

We interviewed people who make their living selling German cars.

Autoverkäufer is the German name for a car-salesman. Maybe 'A' means advance in the same direction?

We took advantage of the power of the Sun's radiation.

Solar power.

We employed people with telepathic powers.

ESP

We visited a distant Norwegian island in search for clues.

Svalbard

Finally, we inspected our molars to find hidden information.

I thought Wisdom Teeth but as you have to exit by going east this can't be right. Hmmm.

• Butter is traditionally made in a wooden mould, but that doesn't work if we follow your reasoning. Maybe each answer is to search in SE to find related posts. for example, if we go here, we have east->butter puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/72983/… – Flying_whale Jan 15 at 13:16
• i'm not really sure each answer are only directions. since we don't know the size of the rooms, it's impossible to know how far we should follow each direction. (not sure if what i say is clear) – Flying_whale Jan 15 at 13:26
• @Astralbee Squares are rectangles so that assumption doesn't necessarily hold. – Veskah Jan 16 at 1:25
• The clue "•We asked someone extremely knowledgeable about the types of human perception" could refer to a Sense Expert = SE = South East. Other clues with 2-word answers may follow the same pattern – Pugmonkey Jan 16 at 18:45
• I don't know. Just looking for words that start with one of NEWS seems a bit weak to me. Where does the wordplay tag come in? Perception could well be sense, a word that consists entirely of compass points. (But is it se+n+se or s+e+n+s+e?) The cues could also be made up of two words. That kinda works for sense(i), corps(e) and merc(h), but I can't make it stick to anything else. And what to do with the extra letters? Make a maze with walls that look like the letters I, E, H? Jafe's comment that one of the answers is correct makes no sense, either. Hm. – M Oehm Jan 17 at 6:08