A wickstretcher is a spaceship-like pattern that stretches a wick that is fixed at the other end. The wick here is assumed to be in some sense connected, otherwise most puffers would qualify as wickstretchers.
A wickeater is a spaceship-like object that "consumes" a wick. They can effectively be considered a more controlled form of fuse. WIckstretchers and wickeaters which consume the same wick and travel at the same speed can be used to create arbitrarily-sized spaceships, or a slow wickeater can be paired with a faster wickstretcher to create a growing spaceship.
Some examples of wickstretchers
Diagonally moving c/4 wickstretchers have also been built (see boatstretcher). In March 1999, Jason Summers constructed a very large c/12 wickstretcher using switch engine-based puffers found earlier by Dean Hickerson. The wick in this last case is the simplest possible one: a single line of diagonal cells. In July 2000, Summers also constructed a c/2 wickstretcher, stretching a period 50 traffic jam wick. This was based on an earlier (October 1994) pattern by Hickerson.
See also: greyship
A greystretcher is an extensible wickstretcher that extends a patch of high-density agar (typically zebra stripes). Unlike a spacefiller, a greystretcher only stretches the agar patch in a single dimension.
- New c/5 diagonal technology at Game of Life News. Posted by Adam P. Goucher on January 26, 2011.
- Matthias Merzenich (January 1, 2021). Re: PotY 2020 Nomination Thread (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
- Keith Amling (January 22, 2023). Re: Spaceship Discussion Thread (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums