Man Builds World’s Largest Puzzle Only To Find Pieces Missing
A games buff spent 120 hours building the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle – only to discover four pieces were missing.
Graham Andrew, 48, had almost completed the gargantuan 33,600-piece challenge after a fortnight but fell short at the final hurdle.
He’s now waiting for the missing pieces to be specially cut and sent from Spain before the 1.57m x 6.5m finished product can be glued together.
Graham, from Reepham, Norfolk, said: “I was worried about pieces going missing because there was just so many of them.”
To break the current world record of completing a 32,000 piece jigsaw, Graham enlisted the help of more than 200 people to finish the puzzle which was being built at a community centre in Reepham.
He said: “We actually had people come back to us and say they found pieces in their shopping bags, what must of happened is that they fell in while everyone was working on the puzzle.”
As a precaution Graham had bought a second £160 replica jigsaw from Barcelona-based company Educa, in case pieces were lost.
But to his dismay when he tried to use pieces from the second puzzle to fill in gaps they did not match as each puzzle is uniquely cut so they won’t fit other models.
Graham said: “Part of me wanted to just use the pieces we had even though they didn’t quite fit and hope no one noticed but I thought it would be better to do it properly.
“We just had to work it out, I was not going to let this get me down or deter me.”
He added: “I always knew pieces could go missing, so I bought the other set but when I found out they wouldn’t fit I couldn’t believe it.”
The dad-of-one embarked on the mammoth task after completing a relatively paltry 1,000-piece puzzle which was put on display at the hospital for visitors.
It is titled ‘Wildlife’ and depicts a vibrant jungle scene including lions, elephants, orangutans, crocodiles and rhinos.
Graham hopes to present the completed puzzle to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where he works as a children’s entertainer.
He said: “I go in to make the children laugh and giggle, to make them forget where they are.
“That is the idea behind this, it’s supposed to make people smile and will be displayed at the hospital.”
The finished product will become the world’s largest commercially available jigsaw, weighing 17kg.
A date of September 15 has been set for the handover to the hospital.
Graham said: “It is a bit of a race against a time, but that Thursday happens to be my birthday so it will be a relief to get it all sorted.”
He said: “If I had attempted this myself I think it would have taken me a year and a half, I’m very thankful for everyone’s help, it has been epic.
“We have the names of all the people who took part and they will be displayed next to the finished piece.”
Once the painstaking puzzle is complete it will be put on tour between Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge – with plans to possibly take it to Great Ormond Street in due course.