The Snarkmaker is a single-channel stream of gliders that, when aimed to collide with an elbow block in a specific location, will perform a slow glider construction of a Snark, directly on the same lane as the incoming gliders. This allows a construction arm to add one or more lossless elbows, so that it can bend around multiple corners without an exponential increase in construction cost.
The Snarkmaker recipe used in the single-channel and Hashlife-friendly Demonoids, Orthogonoids, spiral growth patterns, and Hydra contains 2,253 gliders, not including preparatory and cleanup operations. The glider count could be considerably reduced with a customized search program.
The full single-channel recipe pattern contains 2428 gliders, including
- 25 gliders for an initial elbow-to-offset-block recipe: this block will be used as the next elbow
- 31 gliders for a two-stage recipe (14 + 17 gliders): pull the elbow block to line up with the new elbow
- 19 gliders for an elbow duplicator recipe: the farther elbow will become a slow-salvo target
- 15 gliders to separate the elbows: the near elbow will be used as a zero-degree elbow so it needs some clearance
- 2253 gliders for the actual Snarkmaker recipe: this is made up of many 0-degree glider recipes for a slow salvo Snark construction
- 8 gliders to remove the 0-degree elbow when it's no longer needed
- 76 gliders (optional): push the new elbow back to a safe distance so that this same Snarkmaker recipe could be used again
- 1 glider (suppressed by a single cell) showing where a second Snarkmaker recipe could be safely appended
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The Snark construction is completed in a little over 260,000 ticks, which can be reduced to a little under 250,000 ticks (247,847) by removing the 76 optional trailing gliders and the seven length-256 gaps that mark the transitions between the above sections.
The mirror-image Snarkbreaker recipe, removing an existing lossless elbow from a construction arm, is a much cheaper and faster operation.