The Labyrinth usually refers to a particular maze in Knossos on the Greek island of Crete, designed by Daedalus to contain the Minotaur: a ravenous bull-human hybrid, which found human sacrifices particularly appetising. Theseus navigated these tortuous underground passageways by means of a ball of luminous thread given to him by Ariadne.
Mazes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Topologists can distinguish between mazes by their genus: vaguely speaking, the number of ‘loops’ in it. A genus-0 maze is known as simply connected, as there is only one path from the entrance to any other point. We can count the number of simply connected mazes in a given bounding box by means of Kirchhoff’s theorem, which forms the basis of a programming challenge on Project Euler.
A more traditional problem is to solve a maze. For simply connected mazes, there is only one solution. Multiply connected mazes have several paths from the entrance to the exit; typically the shortest route is desirable. There exist several algorithms capable of this, the most famous of which is Dijkstra’s algorithm. Another method, the breadth-first search, is implemented as a cellular automaton available from the Rule Table Repository. This is not unlike the luminous thread approach favoured by Theseus.
Now that I’ve rambled on about mazes for too long, here’s a maze-cipher combo for you to solve.