Question 18 & The 20% Discount of the Day

8th September 2009 by Lisa

I know it might only be lunch time on the West Coast of North America, but it’s the end of the day for us here in London and that means it’s time for the last question of the day. Here it is straight up:

The Third Zone: Rod’s Path

Let us turn our gaze away from Grant and Blaise for a time and focus on Rod's journey... through the Third Zone.

Being irrational, yet constant, Rod has unknowingly walked in an ever-tightening spiral towards his final destination until he finds himself in an ancient building that is reminiscent of a mosque in a Tunisian style. This building is oddly mathematical in its construction, consisting of smaller and smaller rooms the further into it Rod wanders.

From the outer courtyard, a large square room that is 34 yards wide, he passes through a doorway into an antechamber, 21 yards to a side and from there he enters a room just 13 yards wide and 13 yards deep. Here, he pauses.

On the wall ahead of him, a figure of a man is carved in bas relief, his arms spread wide, feet apart. The figure’s symmetry is hauntingly beautiful. Above him, morning sunlight pours through windows shaped like perfect five-pointed stars, illuminating the room with warm lustrous light.

As Rod stands in this room, bathing in the warmth of the sunlight, he thinks about the richness of his life and the wondrous possibility of his future. Suddenly he hears a terrible voice. A voice rumbling and low, so loud it shakes the foundation. It says, “Who’s that trip-trip-tropping across my bridge?”

Q: What principle defined the path Rod has taken to reach this point?

That question left me scratching my head. Perhaps those of you who are designers might have a slightly easier time of it than us mortals. What about you? Was it Easy? Hard? or Difficile? Before you answer my question, submit the answer to the above question in the comments and come back to the blog tomorrow to see who won. We’ll be choosing the winner of a free set of MOO Postcards and Envelopes from all correct answers.

If this question was too much for your brain (like me) and you’d rather just buy the postcards, today’s probably a good day to do just that. There’s 20% off all orders today until midnight PST.

Goodnight Quizzlers!

Comments (30)

  1. Caro:

    Is it the Golden Ratio?

  2. Florian Rieder:

    its the golden ratio / fibonacci sequence
    1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, …

  3. Fee:

    Golden Ratio (or Golden Mean).

  4. Clare selley:

    The Golden Ratio

  5. Alex Taylor:

    It’s the Fibonacci Sequence! Each number in the sequence is the sum of the two preceding numbers. The 21:34 ratio you mention here is the Golden Mean. Take a square out of the rectangle (21×34) and the left-over bit is the same ratio (21:34) as the original rectangle. Take a square out of the remainder and you start to describe a spiral that goes on as far as the resolution of your medium will hold up.

  6. Irit:

    The Golden Mean/Ratio (AKA Principle of Divine Proportion)

  7. Colleen C:

    Huh, The Golden Ratio, there is some neat info about it here:

  8. David Coe:

    Fibonacci Sequence! :D

  9. Cherry:

    The principle of the Alexander Discipline.

  10. Gabi Nüchter:

    golden ratio

  11. Janet:

    The Golden Ratio

  12. Ariel Cummins:

    the Golden Ratio, perhaps?

  13. Janet:

    This question wasn’t too difficult — the italicized words certainly helped a lot! When the clues mentioned the words “mathematical” and “spiral”, it conjured up images of the nautilus shell that’s used to illustrate the golden spiral. After a quick google, the answer seemed pretty straightforward!

  14. ClaireC:

    The spiraling rooms are following a Fibonacci sequence of numbers.

  15. Sally:

    The Golden Ratio
    (can be approximated by the ratio between consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. 34, 21 and 13 are the ninth, eighth and seventh numbers of this sequence.)

  16. Natalie Gilbert:

    Geometrical construction of the Vitruvian Man?

  17. istoo:

    The Fibonacci sequence.

  18. Stephen Miller:

    Vanishing Point.

  19. Pauline:

    The golden section

  20. Hal:

    The golden ratio.

  21. Steve Thompson:

    That would be the Golden Ratio. The figure with arms spread wide is probably Vitruvian Man. And the sides of a pentagram (five pointed star) are in the golden ratio.

  22. Brittany Noel:

    Good one! The answer is most definitely the Golden Spiral, an equation made famous by Da Vinci, who is also responsible for the symmetrical man.

  23. Leora the Sane:

    The sizes of the room are from the Fibonacci sequence. Fibonacci numbers are related to the Golden Ratio (sometimes referred to as the Golden Mean), a design principle used for who-knows-how-long in architecture and art to create buildings and images that are pleasing to the eye.

  24. Sharon:


    Don’t know anything about design, though..

  25. Matt Boris:

    the golden mean, naturally.

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