A superhumanly patient puzzle enthusiast has become the first person in Britain to complete the world’s most difficult jigsaw – all 18,200 pieces.
Ian Browncey spent more than 350 hours over three months assembling the puzzle’s tiny pieces in his conservatory. The 43-year-old steelworker battled backache and sore fingers as he tackled the 10ft by 6ft puzzle – regarded as the Everest of jigsaws because so many people have failed to conquer it.
Married Mr Brouncey said: ‘A lot of people start the puzzle but so many people drop out half way that it has become known as “the Everest”. ‘I just love doing jigsaw puzzles and this one gave me something to do in the evenings when there’s nothing on TV. ‘A couple of times when there was a load of green pieces around the border which were all the same shapes, I thought I could not complete it.’ But the experience has not put him off jigsaws – in fact, quite the reverse. ‘I don’t know what to do with myself in the evenings now and I’m already getting itchy feet to start another,’ he said.
Mr Brouncey, of Yeovil, Somerset, bought the £125 Jungle Scenes puzzle at London toy store Hamleys in the first week of June and sorted the pieces into different colors.
He devoted two hours every night and whole days on weekends to the puzzle before it was finished on September 20th 2008. Long-suffering wife Patsy, 41, said: ‘Ian’s very shy so jigsaw puzzles are a perfect hobby for him. ‘I don’t know how he had the patience to do it because I was getting fed up with him constantly at it.’
Jungle Scenes features 1,000 different colors and ten species of tropical animal including a toucan, cheetah and leopard with monkeys and parrots above them. The bright colours and green border are said to make it more difficult than the World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle, a 24,000-piece world map made by Educa and available via Amazon.com.
Hamleys has sold Jungle Scenes – the biggest jigsaw currently commercially available in Britain – for four years. But so far nobody has claimed to have finished one and manufacturer Ravensburger says only ‘a couple of people’ have ever completed it worldwide. A Hamleys spokeswoman said: ‘We have never had anybody come to us and say they have finished one. ‘We’re delighted to hear that somebody has completed the puzzle because they are very difficult.’
Margaret Balaam, manager of the UK Jigsaw Puzzle Club, said: ‘The jungle scene is the most difficult puzzle in the world and who ever takes it on is very brave.’ [via DailyMail.co.uk].
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