25-foot maze in a 24-foot house: how I solved the world's longest picture maze in 6 monthsWednesday, October 22, 2008
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I have always been a puzzle person since I was a little boy. There was just something about watching a picture develop out of chaos that was really intriguing to me. I also always liked the idea of “progress” in doing some crazy-big 5,000 piece puzzle: only 3,000 more pieces to go, only 1,000 more, 100 pieces, done!
So, it was a no-brainer when I saw the Mount Everest of mazes with The 25-Foot-Long Picture Maze. This had everything that I wanted. It was huge, a real monster, I could watch the picture emerge from this just like a picture puzzle, and most importantly to me now as a busy person, I could work on it in small 10 minute a day sessions.
I started the maze in early January of 2008. I had roughly ten minutes each evening right after dinner that allowed me to whittle it down. I have to admit, the first few feet were a bit intimidating, the remaining uncompleted maze just stared blankly back at me. Every couple of feet I would show my wife the recent addition to the picture, and then I would move on to the next scene. I slowly started getting more and more feet of the maze behind me and less in front. In early July, 2008 I finished the puzzle!
I wore out three pens
It was at that point that I realized I had not seen the entire puzzle at one time, after all 25 feet is quite long. So I decided to lay it out in the living room and dining room, which was no small feat, since the house is only 24 feet at its longest. So I snapped some pictures of the maze as well. No one shot can do it justice, so I simply shot the pictures to gain the best visual effect of the length of the maze.
I am sure that some people would have used pencil, then re-traced in ink to finalize the maze. I really did not want to do it twice, so I was very careful to follow each and every blind alley with my finger before inking the next segment. Most of the blind alleys were mercifully short, although there were some real doozies too. There were a few nights where I only filled in one segment because I spent my entire ten minutes following some painfully long blind alley. I wore out three pens filling in the maze as well.
The time, the pens, the crossed-eyes from following blind alleys, were all worth it when it was done. Now, I need somebody to create a 50 foot maze!
About the author
Craig Harwood is a 52 years old engineer living in Iowa, USA. Craig is married, has three grown children and enjoys a variety of hobbies such as biking, reading, hiking, genealogy, photography and woodworking.