Clues, Riddles, and Guesses for Treasure 186

/dev/joe wrote (October 13, 1997):

Some clarifying information for these 2 treasures:

For the faster-than-light travel one, the initial and final patterns
to be considered are those just after a generation (before a player move),
and a null pattern and a pattern with an infinity of cells don't count.
The null pattern has no cell cells that can describe any sort of movement,
while the infinite pattern is not a valid Life pattern.  If you allow
infinite patterns you can have FTL travel in normal life, for instance:


this infinite pattern of alternating blinkers moves at 5 times light speed.

On the cyclic viruses one, I will check on that archive
tonight; that probably works, though.  (which means that even when I
thought I had defined the puzzle precisely enough, I still haven't --
maybe I could add a "no gliders or spaceships" rule?)

two-star wrote:
> if you use the rotatating glider pattern known as round.lif at the life
> pattern archive available at
> with alternating gliders belonging to species a and b, this works
> nicely.

This pattern does indeed solve puzzle 2, so two-star has found /dev/joe's
pinwheel of many colors.  It takes 46 generations for it to reproduce
itself with the viruses switched, or 92 generations to completely reproduce
the starting pattern.

The actual map was:
Solve the cyclic viruses patterns puzzle I posted, according to /dev/joe's
interpretations of the terms it contains, and send /dev/joe the solution.

Through a jumble of snowgod's disease on the parts of both ThinMan and
two-star, two-star managed to be the first to complete the conditions
of the other map, and he has found the golden glider.

The actual map was:
Solve the faster-than-light viruses puzzle I posted, according to /dev/joe's
interpretations of the terms it contains, and send /dev/joe the solution.

I hereby create a trinket worth A$50 named the Silver Glider, with the
description "It looks exactly like the golden glider except silver is
used in place of gold", and give it to ThinMan as a consolation prize,
since he was the first to solve the more difficult proof part of the puzzle.

I also thank two-star for pointing out this archive of life patterns; I
haven't seen some of the newer stuff there before.

[two-star wrote, in one message:]

I forgot that I had
to provide an example of one that moves at c, when I saw it saying that
it is easy to find one that moves at c, my brain skipped ahead.

I like

o +

where the o's are the initial cells and a cell is placed at the +
relative to the o's each turn.

[and in the next message:]

Bollinger, John C. wrote:

> On the other hand, no finite shape can move faster than the speed of
> light, despite player intervention of one move per cycle.  In order
> to do so, there would have to be some generation within the shape's
> period during which the shape advances by more than one cell in the
> propagation direction.  However, grid spaces two or more places in
> advance of the shape's leading edge cannot be adjacent to any part of
> the shape, and thus could only be populated by a player's PLACE move.
> Even this is not sufficient, however, for any new cell PLACEd in such a
> position cannot, by definition, have any neighbors among the shape's
> populated cells, and thus must die during the generation.  It is thus
> impossible for any shape to advance more than one grid space per
> generation under the specified conditions, which is to say that under
> those conditions no shape can move faster than the speed of light.
> ThinMan

What he said. Oh, Hubert...

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