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You've caught my attention. That's something I saw on a car years ago and I can't remember what the problem was.

But...maybe the plug itself is cracked and has a leakage path internally. If you kept the plug wire from applying voltage until it avalanches over and gives a very sudden rising electrical pulse, you might swamp the leakage path and cause the main plug electrode to fire. If this is the case, you want to either clean the outside of the plug (but you said it wasn't giving a visible leakage path so that's a very slim chance) or replace the plug. You might swap plugs around to see whether the problem "goes away" or goes with the plug. but I think I'd be inclined to replace that suspect plug outright. They're not that expensive and it's easy.

I hope this helps. It's at least plausible.
 
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