Part 40: Bonus Update 21.5: The Northern SphinxBonus Update 21.5: The Northern Sphinx
In the upset of the century, we'll be going to Darzog's nah I'm just kidding, we're totally going to the lava fields.
The hintbook talks up the difficulty of the Northern Sphinx, but it's significantly easier than, say, Golem Dungeon: a party that's cleared out Rivercity can probably take it on for some quick experience and loot. Then again, Golem Dungeon is easily one of the top five toughest areas in the game (not counting post-game World of Xeen content), so maybe that's an unfair point of comparison.
Anyway, the main obstacles in the sphinx are the locked doors and the high Might requirement to open the sarcophagi. I guess the mummies might be a problem if you've got a party with a poorly-armoured Druid in it (don't use Druids).
I like the layout of the sphinx: it actually occurred to the designers to make it sphinx-shaped and everything. (I am an easily impressed person.) In fact, the in-game automap even calls the first and second levels "Sphinx Body" and "Sphinx Head" respectively. The sand-jet traps tend to be put in devious places like corners or in front of doors where it's hard to avoid walking into them, sometimes more than once.
See you next update, when I go to a place where I'll actually have to be careful to not die!