15
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To start a creature, black and white;
In myth, I may give you a fright.
I may be found on top a flame;
Eternal youth when I'm a name.
5 rings, but only in the West;
Reversed, I give a little rest.
A box or jewel in your ear;
To beg for coins from strangers near.
Connecting bodies that are wet;
Add a letter, I'll heave and sweat.

What am I?

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  • $\begingroup$ Great first puzzle. Good clues and excellent meter in the poem. $\endgroup$ – GoldenGremlin Jun 21 '17 at 1:19
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You are

PAN.


To start a creature, black and white;

A PANDA is a black and white creature.

In myth, I may give you a fright.

PAN was a Greek god whose appearance caused terror. He lends his name to the word panic.

I may be found on top a flame;

A PAN is a cooking utensil, often found on stovetops.

Eternal youth when I'm a name.

PETER PAN never grows up.

5 rings, but only in the West;

OP revealed the intended answer is the PAN AMERICAN GAMES, which resemble the Olympics, except that only countries from North and South America compete.

Reversed, I give a little rest.

A NAP is a short rest. (This was my inroad to the solution.)

A box or jewel in your ear;

PANDORA'S BOX is a famous artifact from mythology; PANDORA is a popular music streaming site; PANDORA is also a brand of jewelry.

To beg for coins from strangers near.

To PANHANDLE is to beg for money in the street.

Connecting bodies that are wet;

The PANAMA CANAL connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean.

Add a letter, I'll heave and sweat.

To PANT is to breathe heavily, often while heaving and sweating.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice! I'll leave you to explain the remaining lines. $\endgroup$ – Apollo-XII Jun 21 '17 at 0:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "5 rings, but only in the West" refers to the Pan Am Games, as they are similar to the Olympics but only the Americas compete. May have been a stretch for a clue on my half. $\endgroup$ – Apollo-XII Jun 21 '17 at 2:51

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