15
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I heard, O James; I beg thou 'll again share
the singular connection I first saw --
not in thine indication quite unrare,
now only when in t' after-gleam of lore.

Do tell: hast wanting heaven's lead-drawn hail?
Hail hath not all behind, or first before.
Can jousting orbs have not incursions frail?
Sleet is not good enough! Return, head sew'r.

That substance killeth e'er at such time when
a fire lord's back. Yes, thou, the last resource,
after thine heart the ultimate of ken.
Myself to Jim: at last return on course.

Imagine a decanter ringing out,
anointment! Dionysus's here! we shout.


Hint (added later):

Each line is a puzzle, all fourteen of the same type.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would you like to clarify how we should be pronouncing "sew'r" and/or whether it's meant to be an abbreviated version of "sewer" (whether that's "one who sews" or "conduit for waste water")? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 25 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ (It looks as if it ought to rhyme with "before" but neither reading of "sewer" would make the vowel right for that.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 25 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan, re your latter comment: but one is very close. $\endgroup$ – msh210 Mar 25 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ I assure you that neither is very close the way I pronounce them. Maybe "person who sews" is closer than "waste water pipe" but they're both miles off. Or is there some other thing "sew'r" could abbreviate that would produce a different vowel sound entirely? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 25 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ (Of course it may well not matter, depending on exactly what is going on in that bit of the line.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 25 at 23:46
10
+50
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The idea is that

every line of the sonnet is a cryptic clue (without enumeration, alas), and when we put the answers to the clues together we get a question we need to answer.

So:

On each line, I have "<" indicating definition on left, wordplay on right, or ">" indicating definition on right, wordplay on left.

I heard, O James; > I beg thou 'll again share        WHAT
the singular connection < I first saw --              IS
not in thine > indication quite unrare,               THE
now only < when in t' after-gleam of lore.            LAST
Do tell: < hast wanting heaven's lead-drawn hail?     NAME
Hail hath not all behind, or first before.            OF
Can < jousting orbs have not incursions frail?        JOHN
Sleet is not good enough! Return, head > sew'r.       SINGER
That substance killeth < e'er at such time when       AS
a fire lord's < back. Yes, thou, the last resource,   ZUKO
after < thine heart the ultimate of ken.              IN
Myself to Jim: at last return on > course.            MOTION
Imagine < a decanter ringing out,                     PICTURE
anointment! < Dionysus's here! we shout.              GREASE

Some explanations of things above that may not be obvious:

Line 1: James Watt. Line 3: THINE minus IN. Line 4: AS, in T after first letter of LORE. Line 5: NAMASTE is "hail"; remove ("draw") "has wanting heaven's lead" or (-h)AST, to get NAME. Line 6: FALL (=hail) minus ALL on its right, "behind or first" = after O. "Of" means "before" as in "quarter of two" when telling time. Line 7: "incursions frail" means that we just get a little bit into each word. Line 8: initial letters; Singer is a brand of sewing machine. Line 9: arsenic. Line 10: Zuko is a Fire Lord in the animated TV series "Avatar: the last airbender". (OK U Z)<. Z is "the last resource" because it's the last letter of the alphabet. Line 12: (I TO M)< + ON.

The final answer

would therefore be TRAVOLTA.

Credit where due:

I didn't wholly understand some portions of the wordplay until OP kindly explained them; see comments below.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nah. Let's wait for Deusovi to turn up and solve it in five minutes. Or someone else. Or maybe I'll get more inspired than I expect. Anyway, no need for big hints yet, I think. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 15 at 21:09
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    $\begingroup$ Sure. (But it's not "resource", it's "the last resource".) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 4 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, I agree that it isn't grammatical, but in fairness msh210 was working under quite a lot of constraints here, so some degree of "poetic" licence should be permitted. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 4 at 19:46
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    $\begingroup$ Cryptics are very difficult without letter counts or cross-checked letters. Especially when the cluing itself is a little cryptic. $\endgroup$ – Lanny Strack May 4 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ @LannyStrack, yep, I'll be the first to admit this is difficult. $\endgroup$ – msh210 May 5 at 2:37

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