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LIFE: The Great Challenge   -   by Royce B. McClure
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  • FIRST TO COMPLETE IN ALCOI, SPAIN.
  • FIRST IN SPAIN TO MIX ALL 24,000 PIECES BEFORE COMMENCING.
April 12, 2008
Xavier Ponsoda i Martí - Alcoi, Spain.

Assembled between October 6th 2007 and April 12th 2008.
(Time: About 381 hours during 57 days.)

Hello, I'm from Alcoi. This is a very nice town in the south-east of Spain, with a lot of history, landscapes, traditions and good food.

This is a short description of the making of the puzzle. A challenge that has lasted during weekends between October 6th 2007 and April 12th 2008.

I completed the puzzle with a little help from my family, at the beginning with the border, and the balloons, also sometimes in sorting the pieces and to complete some parts. I am very pleased to join the group of people that have reported their nice experience of completing this so great a puzzle.

I have been, for a long time, waiting for a nice great puzzle to do. Meanwhile, the sizes of the puzzles were growing. Fortunately, last year I found on the internet this puzzle that had two key points: great in size and great in image.

I bought the puzzle on October 6th, from a local dealer.

FIRST TO COMPLETE IN ALCOI, SPAIN.

Constructing life.
The first step was to mix all the pieces together. My own challenge was to construct a 24000 pieces puzzle, not 4 x 6000. There are very few opportunities to have so big a puzzle in our hands to let them go. This was not a race against time, only a game difficult to repeat.

Afterwards, the classification of the pieces by colours, textures,... This is a very boring task and it will be a constant job during the construction.

With a very enthusiastic spirit my wife, my daughters and myself started to construct the border. Unfortunately this spirit flew away when we started to puzzle the pink nebula. I found more help with the balloons and the ships. Their different colours make it so easy to find the pieces and their construction. My parents were also interested in puzzling the balloons and planets during a weekend.

As I didn't have a place to put the puzzle entirely, I used up to 14 panels to make the puzzle. During the construction I had to move the panels like playing cards.

The difficulty of this puzzle consists in the great number of pieces with a very similar colour. This was really important in the starry sky, both black and blue sky. The non starry sky was similar to water. Most of these areas were constructed after a proper classification of the pieces according to their shape. This was a very slow process.

The land animals had mixed difficulties, the biggest ones (giraffes, cheetah, tiger, zebras) were easy but elephants, lion, penguins, were really difficult to complete. The poster of the puzzle was a good help in this area.

The surface of the water was very easy to achieve. There were few pieces remaining in the bags to choose and they were uniform enough to obtain all the pieces needed.

The next step was the clownfish. Their bright colours were easily chosen, although some of them were over the table with the balloons. Here again, was very important to use the puzzle poster to put every piece in approximately the right place.

After preparing almost all the biggest elements in the water, the 'Lost City' was done. As all their pieces were very similar, the technique used to put most of the pieces was to choose one by one. Fortunately, most of them were at this moment selected so it was only a matter of time to find the piece from a selection of about 2000 pieces properly distributed.

The end was now very close to me. There were a few mid-sized fishes (scalar fishes) to complete and finally the most difficult part: corals and other minor details. This was because of the number of pieces, distributed over a big surface, and their similarity, that make difficult to determine the position. To finish the puzzle, it was important to use visual memory of the colours seen in the puzzle and again, the distribution of the pieces by the shape.

Near the end of the puzzle, I had a little accident: during the photographic session, one of the fourteen panels fell and all the pieces broke apart!

The puzzle was completed on April 12th.

Now I have a more difficult problem: mounting the puzzle to the wall. I will find inspiration and advice from the reports of those who have done it before me.

Congratulations for the Guinness World Record and for this website.

See you in the next "over 24000" pieces puzzle!

I have created a web site showing my progress assembling this puzzle. This website is in English, in Catalonian (my mother language) and in Spanish. CLICK HERE to visit.



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