Sidmouth jigsaw king John pieces together world’s biggest puzzle

A GRANDDAD-of-seven from Sidmouth beat election disappointment by taking on the world’s biggest jigsaw.

Retired analyst, John Dyson, 70, set his sights on the 32,000 piece puzzle after narrowly missing out on a seat on the district council in May.

The Manor Road resident dedicated 342 hours to the project over four months.

A mishap in September added another 50 hours to the total, but John this week posed for a photo that proved his achievement to the puzzle’s manufacturer.

The colourful Ravensburger product is the largest commercially available jigsaw on the planet.

Pieces are contained in eight bags – and the six by sixteen feet jigsaw, made up of 32 different pictures, even comes with its own trolley so it can be carted around.

“I’ve always had a passion for big jigsaws,” said John, who has devised his own special techniques to tackling the puzzles.

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“My children encourage me to take up these curious interests.

“They bought me the jigsaw in March but it was only after I narrowly missed out on election to the district council in May that I had the time to do it.

“I have found it to be quite a challenge and have thoroughly enjoyed it.”

John, who sits on Sidmouth Town Council, added: “Most people just use jigsaws as a way of passing the time and like finishing the picture when they’re done. I was a bit more serious about it. I took an analytical approach, picked up techniques, and sped up with every bag of pieces. Each was faster than the last, so I was clearly improving.

“I did it when time was spared and kept it in our guest bedroom.

“As it was in the summer, I had to be ready to dismantle it and kept it portable using a special table and chair, boards and plastic sheeting.

“My wife didn’t mind. We’re total opposites, but get on so well. I’m very grateful to her for her forbearance.”

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