Kelowna man spent 14 months assembling massive jigsaw puzzle to find one missing piece - InfoNews

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Kelowna man spent 14 months assembling massive jigsaw puzzle to find one missing piece

Robert Miles and 5,999 pieces of a 6,000-piece jigsaw puzzle he put together over the last 14 months.
Image Credit: Submitted
December 06, 2017 - 6:30 PM

CONTENT ADVISORY: OCD trigger warning

KELOWNA – Six months in, Robert Miles began to worry he would never fully finish the project he committed an entire year to completing.

Something was missing.

This was the biggest jigsaw puzzle the 71-year-old ever attempted, and measuring five-feet by four-feet with 18 feet of edge, the 6,000-piece Bavarian Castle was just the challenge he was looking for. 

“I’ve been doing 1,000-piece puzzles but you can get through them too fast,” he says. “I needed a bigger challenge.”

He worked on the castle for a couple hours each evening, trying to place 25 pieces every sitting and looking forward to sinking that final piece into place.

“Some days you don’t get any because your brain doesn’t want to see it for some reason,” he says. “I think what I enjoyed most about the process is those nights where you’re sitting there and you’ve got a few big chunks and realize they go together. All of a sudden, you’ve made great strides. That makes you feel good.”

As months went by and more chunks joined, Miles realized he had to try something different.

“You need a different strategy than with a 1,000 piecer,” he realized. “The usual strategy is to spread pieces all over the place and try to place a piece, put pieces together and then work on chunks. Half-way through I decided to pre-sort the pieces according to their shape.”

That's how he found it. A hole.

“We knew the piece was missing for more than six months before we finished," he says. "We just didn’t know it was completely missing."

Fourteen months and one week after he started, Miles finished the puzzle by making a cardboard replacement of the missing piece. He says the feeling was "not fantastic."

“It’s still missing,” he says. “It could be somewhere underneath but we won’t know until we take the puzzle down.

“It’s a little heartbreaking.”

Miles says the 99.998 per cent completed puzzle will stay up for a few more days until the staff at his retirement home need the two tables he has occupied for 14 months.

"I never gave up but at one point it looked like it would never end," he says. "I’ve got my eye on a 13,000 piecer now.”

One piece remains after a Kelowna man spent more than a year putting together this jigsaw puzzle.
One piece remains after a Kelowna man spent more than a year putting together this jigsaw puzzle.
Image Credit: Submitted

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