Loafer is a c/7 orthogonal spaceship found by Josh Ball on February 17, 2013. Its name refers to its slow speed and loaf-pushing behaviour. By coincidence, the loaf has 7 cells.
It is the fifth smallest known spaceship in terms of cell count (after glider, lightweight spaceship, middleweight spaceship and heavyweight spaceship), excluding some nontrivial flotillae. Despite this, it has not been seen to come out of soup.
Adam P. Goucher found an 18-glider synthesis for this spaceship on the day of its discovery, and Matthias Merzenich reduced this to 8 gliders the following day. Two loafer guns were built by Shannon Omick on February 19th of the same year, using these syntheses.
Uses and reactions
Paul Tooke built a sawtooth, that uses loafer's ability to turn a middleweight spaceship into a loaf.
Mike Playle found a stable loafer-to-Herschel conduit, apparently by means of the same search program (or its earlier version), that gave the world the snark a month and a half later.
On 11 June 2016, Simon Ekström created a loafer-to-glider conduit, based on a loafer-to-pi found by Aidan F. Pierce and rediscovered a year later by muzik.
Loafer can be cleanly destroyed by an eater 1 positioned at the loafer's foot.
Loafer about to get eaten by an eater 1