Have you watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?,
in reply to brian's Guide to Solving Any Perl Problem
Several people commented along the lines of "take a break and do something else and it will come to you".
This has happened to me enough times that I really started to think about how/why it worked.
My theory is that it puts your mind into a different problem solving mode, similar to problem solving in the dream-like state, which I've also experienced. This seems to allow greater creativity, new approaches, and synthesis.