Our reporter challenges the Dark Souls of children’s mealtime entertainment, and enters a twisted maze of interrogations to find the answer.

Parents, you understand more than anybody the mercy of a colorful paper play mat for your children while you’re eating at a restaurant. It doesn’t matter if it’d just a line drawing that they can color, a series of easy puzzles for them to work their way through or just a simple word search: your kids can have fun, and if you have a moment to spare you can challenge one too! You know, for old times’ sake.

Recently, our reporter Yuichiro Wasai was awaiting a delicious meal of spicy chicken at Saizeriya, one of the cheapest family restaurants in Japan. He cast his eye over the bright paper play mat, and before he knew it he was absorbed in a sordid game of Spot the Difference that seemed to have no satisfying conclusion.

You see, the play mat billed ten differences between the images on the left and right. Try as he might, Yuichiro could only find nine. Refusing to be stumped by this puzzle aimed at grade-school students, he searched in vain… Nine! Every time, he could only find nine!

▼ Here’s the image again if you’d like to take up the challenge yourself.

So frustrated was he that by the time the server brought his platter of chicken he could barely taste it through his frustration and rage. His puzzle-based torment was great enough that he decided it was worth swallowing his pride alongside the bites of spicy chicken.

“Excuse me,” he asked the waiter, “could you tell me the correct answers for this children’s Spot the Difference puzzle?”

If the waiter was shaken by this childless, lone gentleman asking for help with a children’s puzzle, it didn’t show on her face. “I’ll ask,” she said.

The waiter vanished somewhere deep within the restaurant, probably to find the restaurant’s resident puzzle wizard and inquire after their secrets. However, when she returned to Yuichiro she admitted that she couldn’t find the answer either!

Well, there was nothing to do at that point but eat spicy chicken and mountains of pasta and settle up the bill. Yuichiro’s stomach may have been full, but his very soul remained unsatisfied…Yearning. Where was that tenth difference between the pictures?

Soon Yuichiro realized he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if he didn’t get some answers. Steeling his resolve, he picked up the phone and called the Saizeriya customer service line.

▼ “Hello, yes, this is about that Spot the Difference puzzle. Yes, the kids’ one.”

The staff not only told poor Yuichiro the answers to the puzzle, but they put his soul at rest by telling him a special piece of insider Saizeriya information:

“The most recent Spot the Difference puzzle came out on December 26, 2018. It takes around one month for new puzzles to be uploaded to the website, so please expect both the puzzle and its solution to be on the website around January 26, 2018. You can also view all of the past puzzles and their solutions on there, as well.”

Yuichiro was stunned! A whole bounty of unreasonably difficult kids’ puzzles?! On one website?! Surely, too good to be true! But it was true. Checking the website revealed over 20 different Spot the Difference puzzles, plus answers, for free! What a treat!

If you’ve never tried a Saizeriya Spot the Difference puzzle before, this is a great opportunity to flex your inner Sherlock and track down all ten inconsistencies. They’re aimed at children, but don’t be fooled: these puzzles are tough enough to stump our extremely resourceful adult reporter. Can’t wait to find out what the differences are on January 26!

Images © SoraNews24
Related: Saizeriya Entertainment Spot the Difference Puzzles