I’m the same. For instance, you are beating my cycles score on other levels, and I simply cannot work out how. But my philosophy, for the moment, is: looking at the left 25% of the global histogram, and asking - am I in that? Am I also basically happy with my solution, or - based on my current knowledge of the game - is it obviously inelegant, hacky, kludgey? So I’m trying to run through the game with this in mind, optimizing for cycles at the moment, and if I’m happy enough with a solution, moving on to the next problem.
With these kinds of games, in the past I’ve been obsessed with beating or equalling the top player in my local leaderboard before moving on, but there’s definitely a point where the pleasurable frustration turns into a kind of hopeless frustration, and you end up not launching the game anymore due to what you think you would have to achieve.
I might yet return to earlier levels and try to better my score, but I find it more rewarding overall to know when to settle for what I have and carry on. I’m also a lot more cavalier about starting new solutions - for some of the earlier puzzles, I’m sure I have a bunch of different “cycles” solutions that each only beat the previous attempt by a couple of cycles, but also each would be structured in a radically different way.
BTW, my 29-cycle airship fuel solution:
I liked this as there was only a cycle period of 4 for each of the arms. Doing it all in 19 seems flat-out impossible for me at the moment.