LIFE: The Great Challenge - by Royce B. McClure
April 12, 2008
- FIRST TO COMPLETE IN ALCOI, SPAIN.
- FIRST IN SPAIN TO MIX ALL 24,000 PIECES BEFORE COMMENCING.
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.
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
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.
Join the Challenge!