Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions (and reassurance that I'm not losing my mind). I did leave a question for the designer, so we'll see what happens. I went through the pattern and calculated the stitch count for each row, and it does consistently work out to be 2 less than what it says. I'm thinking I'll just go ahead and keep working, and "wing it" when I get to the end.
You know you've been working too hard when the puns start to emerge...)