I remember a Christmas almost 20 years ago when we were wondering what to buy our then one, almost two-year old son for Christmas. We were basically broke and we found ourselves in a K Mart in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I can't remember who suggested it, but we saw some puzzles--you know the kind, the cardboard ones with maybe four pieces. They were cheap and they came in groups of four.
Our son loved them.
Flash forward to the present day and another son has found the job of puzzling. We decided to go shopping to pick up a puzzle or two. Your youngest is nine-years old so he's well beyond the easy puzzles. We found some good ones, but they were expensive (a puzzle costing over $10 is expensive...).
The next week we came upon what we thought was a great find. 500-piece puzzles at the dollar store! And they had pictures of cute kittens and other animals--our son's favorite!
Our excited son got started on the first puzzle right away. A day or so later he had it completed.
You see, the 500-piece puzzle was in actuality, a 499-piece puzzle. We checked around the puzzle-building area and we could not find the missing piece. Undeterred, he began a second puzzle.
And the result was the same. 499-piece puzzle. He finished a third puzzle, another piece missing.
I thought it would be cool to market and sell 499-piece puzzles. All you puzzle assemblers out there can see the delicious torment such a puzzle would cause. But now I don't have to--the dollar store beat me to it.