We show a nearly quadratic separation between deterministic communication complexity and the logarithm of the partition number, which is essentially optimal. This improves upon a recent power 1.5 separation of Göös, Pitassi, and Watson (FOCS 2015). In query complexity, we establish a nearly quadratic separation between deterministic (and even randomized) query complexity and subcube partition complexity, which is also essentially optimal. We also establish a nearly power 1.5 separation between quantum query complexity and subcube partition complexity, the first superlinear separation between the two measures. Lastly, we show a quadratic separation between quantum query complexity and one-sided subcube partition complexity.
Our query complexity separations use the recent cheat sheet framework of Aaronson, Ben-David, and the author. Our query functions are built up in stages by alternating function composition with the cheat sheet construction. The communication complexity separation follows from lifting the query separation to communication complexity.