$500 jigsaw puzzle
$500 jigsaw puzzle
Company : Stave Puzzles
Headquarters: Norwich, Vt.
Website : www.stavepuzzles.com

Steve Richardson brags that his customers are "true masochists," because they keep coming back for more devilishly tricky puzzles. Many of his puzzles' handmade wooden pieces can fit in more than one place, leading to multiple solutions -- but only one is correct, said Richardson grinning.

Is Stave Puzzles the Rolls Royce of the industry? So far, Stave is doing better this year than last year, Richardson said. Since announcing a limited edition, a $4,000 puzzle called Atlantis earlier this month, he's already received eight pre-orders.

"It's a great escape," he said of his puzzles. "I think that is why we have done so well during the recession. People are looking to just focus, get in the flow and figure out what piece goes where."

Last updated August 23 2011: 11:14 AM ET
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