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SpaceChem PAX Challenge

We held a SpaceChem tournament at PAX that was a huge success. Unfortunately, many of you could not make it, so we’re bringing the challenge to you!

There were three challenges, each with their own rules. If you want to play along at home, post your scores in the comments.

Challenge 1: Speed Challenge

Complete the following puzzle as quickly as possible, regardless of how bad your solution may be. The top times were ~12 minutes (MrBlarney), ~14 minutes (Xander), and ~60 minutes (Illix).

H4sIACA0R1AA/3WQT2vDMAzFv0rRaYMEJDcrIz6VXHYZ23Fs7OClShNw7eA/hy60n312skFLGY
YHfnqSfvYEgxljKL+tYQ/1BJhl9tL1Y4KD1dxGzVDDM4deGZbN0xkriUSEkjAdSbShpIIQpUg2
QgGtjSZATeL0eSqA/h/bKPdljWzylJvO1GpjuCW86N+2HFJN3mWu9f0ZRfMixfoxsdB6IxJXtd
DNSplXzKSYUSVWWUWVHXq4Zse8v1e+1MrtuVxIoA4ucgEJeseu/M1WS9Cz8dZB3SntebG66Nn9
Nc2ZUQ8h8HUqsObRuks7HMf8PseelWv7xGXUITuv27dV0yut2ex5RamgYujzWnhXc3A3dN2Q/i
ccocbTDx92+MzlAQAA

Challenge 2: Optimization Challenge

Work on the following puzzle for 35 minutes and submit the stats (cycles/symbols) for your best solution. You must choose a single solution to submit. The top scores were 151 cycles (Kat) and 26 symbols (Adam).

H4sIAHE0R1AA/3WQPWvDMBCG/4q52QZJTkOwpuAM3dKtpaWDap9jgSIZfUBT4/72nu0OTUI1HO
jV8dxzGkHbIcXiy1kMUI3A5rJkdH0b4ewMNskgVPCsInr5+M3EUXI6TAq+Y1wKwRmDHBqXbISK
i+l9yoH/D6qV/3A2O2j3qVuU9ZGQxNoKJksiMqLvxC2RkC7Fe9c7rm6yfaPbRXRGl1KUW9LkJU
FJdlHeLJV2oPpwrc/mUb0KhVH+hMU6FKroE+ZA/BZ98du7WRsD2uA8VJ0yAdeoSwGvkzAYHeNN
GNHg4PzfOF6GeRePAZVvehKz6jwnT/uXrO6VMWhPmAl6UCn281x4VUtjq7tO01/EC1Rs+gEdE/
n22wEAAA==

Challenge 3: Mystery Challenge

Work on the following puzzle for 30 minutes and submit the stats (cycles/symbols) for your best solution. You must choose a single solution to submit. The top scores were 125 cycles (MrBlarney) and 28 symbols (Xander).

H4sIAIg0R1AA/3WQTW+EIBCG/4qZsyaAbWrgtPGyN3ts2vRAdVQSFgwfSa2xv7249mB30wuEZ4
bnHVhAmSmG4ssa9MAXINtyZen4tsDFamyjRuDQfM4DGtEISitCIIfWRhOAU7a+rznQ/2+e587Z
dtTWqTY7taoT51onDaVEMEqf7mxJZ2O4H+zgrG90zTcpBXukJCkfKkIFK5M4bawiTNCyYscQsk
WM0hdaugGLPQx4cBFz+LCmQ1f89lZ7o0fjrQPeS+1xR330+Jf4SasQbmBAjZN1RxzmaXuDQ4/S
tWMazMjLRp5PL1k9Sq3RDJiVqSBjGLdceJXXxk71vUp/EGbgZP0BUbgpnMABAAA=