click to embiggen
I'm not the first person to post this picture or to notice the oddness of his key. Rob Conley has discussed minimalist dungeon keys before and my notes more or less look like what he describes, but they're verbose compared to what Gygax has in front of him there. So my question to you is, what the hell could those say that would allow him to run the whole level?
this blowup doesn't help
It's interesting to note that he more or less does what I've been doing with Nightwick Abbey: he fills a sheet of graph paper full of rooms and corridors until they won't fit anymore. Mine isn't quite as crowded, but it looks like more or less the same scale of graph paper (6 to 1"). This makes the fact that he can run it with so little even more perplexing to me.
Someone in the comments of one of Jeff's old posts suggested that those maps -- which are very similar and also from Gygax's hand -- might only list "important rooms" but that seems strange to me since it's not like this is In Search of the Unknown where the DM is expected to fill out the rest. This is it being run by a DM.
On a tangentially related note, I've been working on some new maps for Nightwick Abbey and I'll try to post some pictures of the first three levels in the next few days.