Marietta resident completes massive puzzle with over 40,000 pieces

Ray Smith with puzzle.
Ray Smith with puzzle.(Ray Smith)
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 2:25 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Marietta resident and County Public Defender Ray Smith has always enjoyed puzzles, and he recently completed his largest one yet.

His first larger puzzle had 24,000 pieces, and he followed it up with a puzzle of the Brooklyn skyline that had 32,000 pieces. His most recent is a Ravensburger puzzle that features 10 scenes from different Disney pieces, boasts 40,320 pieces and measures 22 feet by 6 1/4 feet.

It is currently on display at the Marietta Municipal Court and can be viewed by visitors anytime during business hours. Smith brought it to the building in 10 separate pieces that he then put together.

“One section would sit on my pool table, and that was pretty neat. But then we laid it out in the Municipal Court last Friday and the whole thing is pretty incredible,” Smith said.

Smith typically works on his puzzles during evenings and weekends, and it took him nearly a year to complete the Disney puzzle.

When Smith was working on the 32,000-piece puzzle, Judge Janet Dyar Welch asked if he’d be interested in displaying it in the municipal building. He told her that he would be working on a larger puzzle, as well, and she invited him to show it at the courthouse.

Smith enjoys working on puzzles as a way to relieve stress.

“I have a very stressful job. And I’ve got a very analytical and mathematical mind, so it’s relaxing. I play music in the background,” he said.

He selected the Disney puzzle largely for its aesthetics.

“The photos don’t do it justice,” he said. “It’s beautiful. The colors are good, and the layout is good,” he added.

While Smith had his doubts at times about some of the previous puzzles that he ultimately completed, he felt certain all along that he would see this one through to the end.

“I always knew I was going to finish this one. But the Brooklyn one, I quit that thing about 30 or 40 times,” he said.

Smith isn’t finished putting together massive puzzles. He’s currently working on another Disney puzzle from Ravensburger that also includes more than 40,000 pieces.

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