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Maze by Christoher Manson[edit]

This is not advertising, since the book is long out of print and the Web sites do not contain advertising. Please restore this material as this is a very popular puzzle book. Canon 19:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

OK Canon, I have restored it. If the material is of use to people other than the promoters of the book, then I guess it deserves to stay. I'm sorry to have deleted it so hastily. --Heron 20:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks very much. Canon 00:20, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Maze versus labyrinth[edit]

Where did that definition of labyrinth came from? That's not the common definition. --Voodoo 23:30, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Does someone want to back up the claim made in the opening paragraph that a maze is different from a labyrinth? If not it is both wrong and a distraction. Canon 23:41, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

The terms "maze" and "labyrinth" seem to have been used interchangeably for centuries, and still are. However, since this topic began to be the subject of scholarship and comparative theorising, scholars have needed to differentiate between the entertaining puzzle (in which one gets lost in dead-ends), and the unicursal type (which takes just one, very convoluted, path to its centre). They have settled upon "maze" for the former and "labyrinth" for the latter: see the reading list and many of the external links cited for examples of this usage. Admittedly it can be confusing for non-specialists and specialists alike (eg most of the structures generally known as turf mazes are unicursal labyrinths); perhaps this distinction needs to be summarised in the introductions to both the Maze and Labyrinth pages. SiGarb | Talk 22:23, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I did as you recommended and the earliest mention of a difference in the meanings occurs in the book by Matthews (1922):
We might perhaps point out that a slight shade of difference may be assumed to exist between "labyrinth" and "maze," even when these words are used in their metaphorical sense. We may take "labyrinth" to signify a complex problem involving merely time and perseverance for its solution, "maze," on the other hand, being reserved for situations fraught, in addition, with the elements of uncertainty and ambiguity, calling for the exercise of the higher mental faculties--in short, we may regard the two words as having reference respectively to the unicursal and multicursal types of plan (see Introduction). A distinction of this kind adds point to a sentence like that which occurs, for instance, in Mr. Lytton Strachey's "Queen Victoria," where he tells us (p. 178) that the Prince Consort "attempted to thread his way through the complicated labyrinth of European diplomacy, and was eventually lost in the maze."
This looks like an example of the refinement of meaning that occurs in many disciplines (e.g., the words "force" and "energy" mean something to a physicist that is much more precise than the meanings of these words to the non-physicist). I agree that this needs to be spelled out in the introduction, which at the moment is off-putting to non-specialists. Perhaps something like:
Specialists use the term "labyrinth" to refer to paths that do not branch and "maze" to refer to paths that do branch.
I would make this change myself but as a non-specialist I think it is inappropriate for me to speak for specialists. Canon 01:11, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I think the distinction between branching and non-branching for maze and labyrinth should be made early. It is easy to grasp and remember. Stephen B Streater 06:55, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I always learned that a maze has branches and is designed to be difficult to navigate, and labyrinths have a single, non-branching path. I don't have any sources to back this up, except for experience. I learned that labyrinths were used for spiritual purposes, and they were always a curving path that led to a center region, and the center represented God, and the curving path represents a spiritual journey. Labyrinths also (I think) usually come out the way that they came in, where as a maze usually involves going from point A to point B. At least that's always what I believed. --Sbrools (talk . contribs) 03:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to point out that both Cambridge and Merriam-Webster online dictionaries do give a very similar definition of the two, the former even suggesting they be synonyms. I strongly think that major dictionary entries should be weighted when making a(n arbitrary?) strong statement in the introduction. Gbnogkfs 18:25, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

dab Maize[edit]

I wouln´t quarrell if my edit was reverted. But see Talk:Maize first. --Ezeu 08:26, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Fair use image[edit]

It has been disputed if the of an image in this article, Image:Rats running around in a maze.png, qualifies as fair use. Please add a fair use rationale to the image description page, explaining why the image quallifies as fair use. --Fritz S. (Talk) 09:02, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Pledge algorithm[edit]

Who is Jon Pledge of Exeter? Does he exist? Does anybody know? - RTH 17:28, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

I wonder. It's been around since this edit [1] in 2004, made by an editor whose other contributions (most of which are made in 2004) seem quite sensible. However, googling for "Jon Pledge" mostly gives hits that are either totally unrelated to mazes, or that are mirrors of en.wikipedia. An independent source would be really good here! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Noe (talkcontribs) 17:47, 13 November 2006.
It should be removed. I am tagging it as unsourced in the time being. --Ezeu 23:55, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
According to Abelson and diSessa, John Pledge discovered the method when he was 12 years old. (Turtle Geometry: the computer as a medium for exploring mathematics, page 177). I have added a "see the book". See here: (you would need a Google acount) - 00:24, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
However, there seems to be a related result in searching mazes based on a grid, with a quite similar approach, keeping track of your turns and counting the number of grid squares you have passed. M. Blum, D. Kozen. On the power of the compass (or, why mazes are easier to search than graphs), in: Proceedings 19th FOCS (Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science), 132--142, 1978. Jochgem 13:43, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

So called "Pledge" and other algorithms will work in computer programs, but only experts are able to use them - the paragraph should be removed. The "wall-follower" method (simple, but restricted) and the Trémaux method (more difficult) are the only algorithms that work in reality, too. (The explanation of the Trémaux method under [1] is not correct!) - It would be a good idea to separate the more mathematical problems of mazes from the history of the traditional hedge maze. Nowadays mazes seem to be very British... but the (puzzle) hedge maze is an old element of garden design, first developped during the late Renaissance in Italy. (Try to read "my" article de:Irrgarten) -- RTH 16:27, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually the Pledge algorithm can easily be applied by hand, both when looking at a map and when actually inside a life size Maze. All you need is some way to determine whether you're facing a particular direction (such as you're looking at a map, have a compass, or have a fixed landmark like a mountain). Applying the Pledge algorithm is just like wall following, except you move forward (potentially between islands) when exactly facing the particular direction (assuming you haven't turned yourself around to the left or right one or more times). Assuming you can detect your direction, and count the number of times you've twisted yourself around, the Pledge algorithm can be done by hand or computer. Hopefully this is clear in the current version of the article. Thanks, Cruiser1 14:12, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

O.k., using a compass or a map... (why not GPS?). -- RTH (talk) 16:26, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The Article link provided for "Pledge algorithm" is broken. It should be removed or fixed. Dorit82 (talk) 13:53, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

As to who John Pledge of Exeter is, I emailed Professor Abelson of MIT, co-author of the referenced book, and got this reply: " was invented by John Pledge (age 12) who was a student in a early Logo workshop that some of us from MIT have at Exeter. I think the date was 1972." I know someone already mentioned the reference in the book but i thought people might want the extra information. (talk) 00:57, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

3d maze solving[edit]

Hi all. Is anybody aware of either positive or negative results for 3d maze solving? (I understand this question is maybe slightly off topic, but thanks anyway for any info.) Regards,--Powo 13:23, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you're going to have to be more specific to get an answer. What are positive or negative results? What is supposed to solve the maze in which way, and what makes 3D special? --Jonathanvt 20:07, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Solving a 3D maze is exactly the same as solving a 2D maze if you see the maze as being a graph. Probably, the only solution would be to use brute force, i.e. you recursively choose a random path at each junction and backtrack to take a different one if it turns out to not be the right one. (That's exactly what "follow the wall" does.) If that doesn't answer your question, then please be more specific. (talk) 17:07, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

"Recursive backtracking" is very different from "follow the wall". Recursive backtracking uses a stack to keep track of all junction choices you've taken to reach the current point, and marks the Maze when backtracking so you always visit every cell in the Maze exactly once (regardless of its topology). Following a wall just means always taking a particular junction choice relative to the direction you're facing, where this method may not visit all cells in Mazes with loops before returning to start, meaning unlike recursive backtracking, wall following isn't guaranteed to find the solution to a Maze (although it at least works on many Mazes). Thanks, Cruiser1 (talk) 22:33, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Puzzling World[edit]

Hi there just a suggestion/question, should the maze at stuart landsborough's puzzling world be included in the mazes open to the public section. it costs a small amount to enter and is "the worlds first"modern-styled" great maze

Remove or change de link?[edit]

The link to the german WP article Irrgarten might be misleading. The authors understand the article as purely garden-related, i.e. it only deals with botanical maze-like arrangements. Any reference to other representations (especially the mathematical stuff) seems to be very unwelcome there and are removed almost immediately. I have also doubts that "irrgarten" is equivalent to "maze". In german popular language, most people use the term "labyrinth" that, in modern times, seems to be almost equivalent to "maze". But maybe there is no fully equivalent German translation of "maze". Therefore I recommend removing the link to the German article.--SiriusB 10:50, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I will add a description of wall-follower and Trémaux etc. in de:Irrgarten. (You are right: the main aspects are garden related.) -- RTH (talk) 16:33, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Still today the de article is a completely botanics-related article. Therefore I still recommend removing the link since there is actually no maze article in German Wikipedia now.--SiriusB (talk) 14:42, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Update: I have placed a reference to de:Irrgarten in "See also" as an article about garden mazes. Again, de:Irrgarten is not a German equivalent to this article here! Maybe if I have plenty of time I can try and start a German general maze article (but this has to be discussed there).--SiriusB (talk) 14:56, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Structure of Labyrinth-related articles in German WP is still in discussion. A good idea would be a special German maze article about mathematical solutions etc. Please see first de:Labyrinth (Begriffsklärung). -- RTH (talk) 16:14, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Loads of unnecessary links that should be removed[edit]

Almost all the links to external sites in this article seem unnecessary. They are also really annoying an lead the casual reader on a wild internet goose chase. Most i'm guessing are just advertising. I'll leave it to someone who knows this article well to crop them out rather than just hack them out myself with no knowledge of the subject. thanks in anticipation! extraordinary 14:53, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I made the following edits: (1) Moved the "Mazes open to the public" section to right before "External links", because they're both basically a list of links. (2) Moved the "Publications about mazes" section to right before "Further reading", because they both concern books about Mazes. (3) Moved the "Generating mazes" section to right after "Maze Construction", because they both deal with making Mazes. This didn't remove or change any content, but it does make the article a bit cleaner. Thanks, Cruiser1 12:50, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Removed internal link to cut-the-knot. The cut-the-knot page doesn't even mention Mazes, much less why it's fundamental enough to be one of two "see also" links on the main Maze page. If cut-the-knot is notable with respect to Mazes, it should be added to Category:Mazes. Thanks, Cruiser1 (talk) 03:31, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Editing Today[edit]

Ganna try t make the article better today. --Stealth500 (talk) 17:16, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Other Algorithms?[edit]

There are many important maze algorithms for when you can see the entire maze, but these are not discussed. They are used, for example, to solve mazes on paper, or with computer programs. Additionally, the algorithms give some insight into the mathematical structure of mazes. Would it be appropriate to discuss the dead end filling algorithm in this article? A good description of the algorithm is seen here: [2] (about 2/3 the way down the page), and a video of it in action is here: [3]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:38, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Dead end filling algorithm: good idea, easy to understand. But don't add all algorithms, I think, it's too much. The differences between Dead End and Cul-de-Sac (french translation of dead end) should be explained. In German: possibly "Sackgasse" versus "tote Galerie". -- RTH (talk) 16:57, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Topology of mazes in higher dimensions[edit]

Any maze can be topologically mapped onto a three-dimensional maze. Does this mean that even a 42-dimensional (let's say rectangular) maze can be projected into a 3D space (naturally no longer being a rectangular one) without additional crossings? Is there any proof to this statement that could be cited here?--SiriusB (talk) 11:27, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

The above is indeed true. Beyond that, any Maze can be mapped to a 2D Maze if you allow over and under passages. A standard Maze (of any number of dimensions) is basically just a graph, where junctions are vertexes/points, and passages are edges/lines between vertexes. You can topologically move or flatten those vertexes so they're all in a plane. The edges between the vertexes will probably overlap, but as long as those overlapping edges are distinguished from actual vertexes, you can say the Maze has been reexpressed as a 2D Maze with crossings (also called a "weave" Maze). Thanks, Cruiser1 (talk) 12:48, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Maybe one can understand this by reducing passages to thin lines (i.e. 1-dimensional manyfolds). Those only need to cross if the dimension of the surroundings space is 2-dimensional (and, of course, overlay if dim=1). And therefore a "weave" 3D maze (with 4D "bridges") would not make sense in general (i.e. if the maze is not restricted to a rectangular "box" pattern like that in the 4D Maze game in the external link list), would it?--SiriusB (talk) 09:08, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Mazes have coordinates?[edit]

Mazes have precise coordinates located on earth, i don't get that part...--Colonel Valh ala-112 US-O6 insignia.svg 02:44, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

More Maze-solving Techniques[edit]

I was online and found another maze-solving technique. The method indacates that you first find all the dead ands, and "block" them out until you arrive at a conjuntion. Two blocked out paths meeting may be further blocked out to the next conjunction. What do you think of it?


Jasonxu98 (talk) 00:20, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Please have a look at the new section I have created: Maze#Dead-end_filling, thanks. (talk) 08:28, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

"Gey" ?[edit]

Is "Gey" really what is meant to be written there? (if you don't know where it is in the article, I think in most browsers if you hold the control/ctrl key and then press the F key a thing to search for words in the page shows up) --TiagoTiago (talk) 17:22, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Some immature person vandalized and changed "Germany" to "Gey". It's been fixed. --Mjrmtg (talk) 17:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Factual discrepancy[edit]

There is a factual discrepancy regarding the largest corn maze in America. This page lists Sever's Corn Maze in Shakopee, MN as the largest in America, whereas the corn maze page lists a corn maze in Dixon, CA as the largest in the world. Clearly the CA maze cannot be the largest in the world but not the largest in America.

Also, the section in this article listing mazes open to the public in North America seems quite disorganized and could use some cleaning up. Right now it appears to be alphabetized by the first word of each line, but the first word is not always the title of the maze. How about organizing by state/province as in other articles? Also, if this list is supposed to include corn mazes, it is a very incomplete list, as there are numerous other corn mazes open to the public. (talk) 08:58, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

algorithms split[edit]

Cruiser split the article and made a new page dedicated to maze solving algorithms. An IP put back in info about the algorithms. I'm not sure if the IP was unaware that it was duplicating info on the other page or if they thought both pages should contain it, or if they disagreed with the page split. I removed the redundant info.

discuss. (talk) 13:12, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

The history of maze[edit]

Any idea of who made the first maze in the world? When did people start to make a maze-garden? -- (talk) 15:47, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Greg Bright[edit]

I think Greg Bright should be given greater prominence as single-handedly creating the modern maze revival in the early 1970's. It is often the case that initiators get forgotten and overshadowed by those that follow - or worse have their works attributed to them.

And where is he now, I wonder? (talk) 22:49, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposed external link for this article[edit]

I thought it was OK to add an external link to this article since the link's target is directly relevant material to the subject matter. My intention is not to sell or promote anything, but rather simply and solely to add value to the article. <<OhNoItsJamie>> says that my purposed external link is spam. Granted it's a link to a page of my personally owned and maintained retail PC software website (of graphical nature), but I fail to see why he/she considers it spam if the intent is neither malicious nor profit-driven. My intent is purely educational and the link would remain persistent/valid into the long-term foreseeable future. Your consideration would be appreciated as I have several other proposed external links I would like to add for other Wiki Topics. Thanks!

Proposed external link:

  • [4] 3D Virtual Maze screen image w/ Top-Down Map showing a solution to a generated maze PierreDesl (talk) 17:47, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
The answer is still no. See WP:COI and WP:EL.

OhNoitsJamie Talk 17:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, I've read the External Links guidelines, and even the COI and EL refs., but I still fail to see why the critieria is not met [for acceptance of my proposed external link]. Your specific help is appreciated. pd PierreDesl (talk) 18:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Given that it's your software, I don't see how you could fail to understand how this could be seen as a conflict of interest. Has the software received any significant third-party coverage? If not, then I don't believe it's suitable for inclusion as an external link. Doniago (talk) 19:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Doniago, I realize this, but the well-known and significant site on mazes [5] has listed a link to my PC software program and has a licensed copy of it. pd PierreDesl (talk) 23:43, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Correction: that link reference is just: PierreDesl (talk) 23:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I'd need a third opinion on this; a glance at the website doesn't convince me that it meets reliable sourcing standards. Sorry. Doniago (talk) 03:39, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Maze Mania South Carolina Link[edit]

I clicked on the link to Maze Mania in Garden City and was directed to a Japanese website (about hair restoration if the translation is to be believed!). Very strange, searching for the attraction in Google brings up the proper description, the address, and so on, plus the exact same link...but again it goes to a different place. Anyone know the proper link? Perhaps they lost the URL recently? (talk) 20:31, 19 September 2012 (UTC)Tim

In thinking about it further, should that text even be linked at all? Isn't that advertising? If included, should it be in the External Links section rather than in the running text? (talk) 20:35, 19 September 2012 (UTC)Tim

If the mazes are going to be linked in the body of the text, they should be linked internally, not to website. They should also have third-party sources establishing their existence and notability so that we don't have to deal with an indiscriminate and perhaps unverifiable list. I don't think it would be appropriate to link to the mazes themselves under External Links in general terms because it would be advertising, but this may constitute an exception. Doniago (talk) 20:42, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I thought. My original question related to the link itself and that it seemed to be redirecting somewhere else, but agreed that the real question is whether it should be linking outside at all (which, I'm with you, I don't think they should). So probably best to leave it, though I see there are other external links in the list of mazes which should also be removed, what do you think? (talk) 14:55, 20 September 2012 (UTC)Tim
Any external links within the body of the article should either be removed or converted to references. Wikipedia articles should not include external links within the body of the text, though the geographical coordinate links are, I believe, allowable.
I'm willing to go either way as to whether the External Links for this article may include links to the mazes listed earlier in the article body, but firmly oppose the inclusion of any maze websites for which the maze has not already had its significance established via third-party sourcing.
Ultimately I think this article probably needs a significant overhaul, and will likely need periodic ongoing maintenance to keep the list of mazes in good shape. I'm willing and able to take a hatchet to it at some point when time permits, provided there are no objections. Doniago (talk) 15:45, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Could you clarify further exactly what third-party sources you require? It seems entirely arbitrary at this point. Do you want external reviews from supposed qualified experts in maze construction? Review sites saying a maze is exceptional (like TripAdvisor)? For example the Maze currently listed under New Zealand doesn't seem to have built up any reputation compared to the one I put up yesterday. By your standards it seems it should be removed as well... talk —Preceding undated comment added 02:05, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Lost message[edit]

Send on my talk page on frwiki. The user tried to send it here but didn’t manage to.
He first did this edition (reverted), then this one.
— Ltrl G, 22:50, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Deeply engaged in the geometry of labyrinths and mazes, for more than ten years, and publishing my findings and artwork namely in the art/math Bridges conferences and Exhibits, my intervention earlier today kept obsessing me.

So I came back to this and started digging further, in English, French and Dutch, different entries : labyrinth, labyrinthe, labyrint; maze, dédale, doolhof; puzzle maze, and not only Wikipedia but also Wictionary, the only place where the French word dédale exists as different of the name Dédale, with the exception in French Wikipedia where the word dédale has a parallel entry with the word 'homonymie' between parentheses, like in English with the word 'disambiguation'. I also found the '(talk)' contiguous to the title of the entry, here 'Maze', (and not the one contiguous to my name at the upper right which I did usr for my response earlier today) and it containe valuable information !

Like in many multi-lingual Wikipedia searches, one is astonished about quite differing contents, not only responsible by slight variations in meaning of the terms in different languages.

Resulting from this study, my (new)understanding of this sentence is that 'tour puzzle' is a generic expression containing, among others 'maze'. While mazes (and labyrinths) have fixed pathways and walls, when this limitation is discarded, the resulting concepts are ranked under the generic expression.

Yet my early understanding being, I think, understandable, it might be useful for readers my kind to immediately dissipate any possible misunderstanding by an improved, explicit sentence ;) Thank you !

PS: the use of 'tour' in my earlier text " The second use of 'tour maze' " was a typo: I meant 'tour puzzle' S.V. 04:23, 27 october 2014 (CET)

Accuracy of maze and labyrinth and suggesting moves[edit]

Redirecting discussion as multimove request to Talk:Labyrinth. Dekimasuよ! 00:01, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

see talk:Labyrinth[edit]

The discussion of this seems to be happening at talk:Labyrinth : Accuracy of maze and labyrinth and suggesting moves. -- Elphion (talk) 22:40, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Labyrinth which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 23:58, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Move discussion no longer in progress. -- Elphion (talk) 03:40, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Labyrinth vs Maze[edit]

I've reverted the recent change in the lead. This needs a more finessed approach; see the discussion at talk:Labyrinth -- Elphion (talk) 00:43, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Since there has been little discussion here, I've rewritten the lead to reflect that "maze" and "labyrinth" are generally synonymous, but that "labyrinth" can also refer specifically to a unicursal pattern. (In particular, I have removed the passage saying that "technically" mazes are multicursal while labyrinths are unicursal. This is simply not true: even technical writers adopt differing conventions.) This is well referenced (esp at Labyrinth), and should no longer be controversial. I have accordingly removed the "disputed" tag. -- Elphion (talk) 03:32, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Propose moving the list of mazes[edit]

The number of public mazes far outstrips what's listed in the section "Mazes open to the public", so the potential for this to grow significantly (especially since we don't state any criteria for adding entries) could swamp the article. Perhaps we should turn this into a separate list page, with more explicit criteria? -- Elphion (talk) 18:31, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

I'm okay with that. DonIago (talk) 20:29, 3 June 2016 (UTC)