Saturday 15 July 2023


When I spotted pics of Stella on Facebook, I immediately followed the links to the new Demonticon website - the family resemblance to Ziggy was obvious, and it had been posted by Radek, so it could only mean one thing: Radek and Doog have a new puzzle out in the wild. Sadly the website was still under construction, so I took a chance and headed to Radek’s normal shop window and was delighted to spot Stella already proudly displayed for sale, so I immediately snapped up a copy.

The next day Radek was in touch to let me know that he was changing couriers and that my puzzle should be with me the next day- WOW! – which was awesome, only I was away on a business trip. Luckily Gill was at home so Stella wouldn’t have to wait on the doorstep for my return. I ended up getting home a day later than planned so last weekend I finally got to play with Stella. (Sorry if that sounds slightly naughtier than I was intending.)

Stella and Ziggy are definitely cut from the same cloth, so to speak – they’re both squat cylinders and Stella is even goofier than Ziggy was. Stella comes with a neat little stand that makes her look like a little meeple – tres cute!

Stella’s backstory tells us that she’s “always been passionate about astronomy, but lately she has had a whirlwind romance and fallen in love,” and then it challenges us to “get inside her head and discover what she’s thinking about…”  All-righty then…

At first sight Stella's head appears to be a tale of two halves, with the split handily providing the “S” in Stella – there’s a tiny bit of a wiggle in there, but it’s obvious there’s something locking things up, so we start with the obvious things and we’re rewarded just a little… and then progress dries up.

Thinking a bit more obliquely yields a little more progress, but again, not a lot…

At some point you need to go full-on MacGyver / NASA engineer to move forward- and Radek’s machining skills are going to impress you.

Blessed with more tools than you know what to do with, you’ll find yourself once again up against a proverbial brick wall and this one’s an absolute doozy. The final lock easily took me the longest to defeat and had me spending a while trying to imagine what on earth could potentially be at play here. It’s an excellent final boss before levelling up.

Once inside Stella’s head, there’s some lovely decoration, and of course that final lock in full view…

At that point I thought I was done and congratulated Doog on a super design and Radek on some excellent craftsmanship - and I was delighted.

And then Doog reminded me of the final bit of the challenge and that put me right back into puzzle mode – and I ended up totally over-engineering my solution until the answer finally dawned on me… it’s a super puzzle – a compact interesting design that’s been beautifully executed.

IMHO Stella is Stellar.

Chapeau Doog! Bravo Radek!


No comments:

Post a Comment