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A Tom Swifty is a pun involving somebody saying something in a particular manner reminiscent of the thing being said. For example, from the Wikipedia article for Tom Swifty:

"I'll have a martini," Tom said dryly.

"I think I'm a frog," Tom croaked.

The following Swifties have had their punny phrases replaced with synonyms of the puns themselves. Can you figure out the original words and make yourselves groan?

  1. "I have an eighth note," Tom said trembling.

  2. "I can't find my underpants," Tom said shortly.

  3. "I really hope I get a 7 or 11," Tom said riskily.

  4. "I never decrease as I move right," Tom said boringly.

  5. "I can't go below this rope, it's too hard," Tom said uncertainly.

  6. "I have an unnatural view of my buttocks," Tom said retrospectively.

  7. "I baked this bread using a substitute grain," Tom said with a dramatic gesture.

  8. "I'm protesting to the singer who popularized Autotune," Tom told the meat man.

  9. "I'm the prince from Undertale," Tom said in the role of Louis the Métis rioter.

  10. "I feel like I'm creating part of a play," Tom said while taking a standardized test.

  11. "I've come up with a new Conservative party member," Tom said while listing down items.

  12. "I need to find a way to make this work with Apple's calendar app," Tom said meticulously.

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  • $\begingroup$ #9 might be a bit unfair. I'll probably replace it. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 4:26

5 Answers 5

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1.

with a quaver

4.

monotonously

6.

on reflection

7.

flourish

10.

writing the ACT

12

methodically

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Partial answer for ones that I don't think any one else has got right first:

1

"I have an eighth note," Tom said with a quaver

2.

"I can't find my underpants," Tom said briefly

3.

"I really hope I get a 7 or 11," Tom said dicily

6.

"I have an unnatural view of my buttocks," Tom said in hindsight

11.

"I've come up with a new Conservative party member," Tom said while making a list

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  • $\begingroup$ The correct answer to #1 is actually three words. You have the important word right, though. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ Also the correct answer to #6 is two words. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ Deusovi has the correct answer to #4. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:06
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    $\begingroup$ You know what would have made it harder? If I'd changed it to "half-trembling" and "eighth note" to "sixteenth note". Then it would be "with a semiquaver". $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:09
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeZ.: Or you could just go all the way to "hemidemisemiquaver". $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:10
1
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Partial Answer:

1, "I have an eighth note," Tom said trembling.

"I have an eighth note," Tom said with a quaver.

5, "I can't go below this rope, it's too hard," Tom said uncertainly.

"I can't go below this rope, it's too hard," Tom said, in limbo.

6, "I have an unnatural view of my buttocks," Tom said retrospectively.

"I have an unnatural view of my buttocks," Tom said looking back.

7, "I baked this bread using a substitute grain," Tom said with a dramatic gesture.

"I baked this bread using a substitute grain," Tom said with a wry expression.

8, "I'm protesting to the singer who popularized Autotune," Tom told the meat man.

"I'm protesting to the singer who popularized Autotune," Tom told the butcher.

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  • $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. - can it replace any part of it (i.e. part of the quote, or the adverb itself?) $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ The correct answer will replace the bolded parts of the problem quotes. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ You have the right word for #1, but you didn't phrase it correctly. The correct answer is actually three words long. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. - better? $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ Still not quite it for #4. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:10
1
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  1. "I'm the prince from Undertale," Tom said in the role of Louis the Métis rioter

Tom said as Riel

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  • $\begingroup$ I guess somebody got it after all. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 16, 2015 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ The joke is as riel as it gets, right? ;) $\endgroup$
    – Mildwood
    Jul 5, 2016 at 4:24
1
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Since everybody's gotten partial answers, I'll make a CW to amalgamate the correct ones people have gotten so far:

  1. Player One

"I have an eighth note," Tom said with a quaver.

  1. Player One

"I can't find my underpants," Tom said briefly.

  1. Player One

"I really hope I get a 7 or an 11," Tom said dicily.

  1. Deusovi

"I never decrease as I move right," Tom said monotonously.

  1. Alconja

"I can't go below this rope, it's too hard," Tom said, in limbo.

  1. Player One

"I have an unnatural view of my buttocks," Tom said in hindsight.

  1. Alconja

"I baked this bread using a substitute grain," Tom said with a flourish.

  1. Alconja

"I'm protesting to the singer who popularized Autotune," Tom told the butcher.

  1. Person

"I'm the prince from Undertale," Tom said as Riel.

  1. Deusovi

"I feel like I'm creating part of a play," Tom said while writing the ACT.

  1. shettysahab

"I've come up with a new Conservative party member," Tom said while taking inventory.

  1. Deusovi

"I need to find a way to make this work with Apple's calendar app," Tom said methodically.

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  • $\begingroup$ 10. "I feel like I'm creating part of a play," Tom said while taking the ACT(American College Testing). $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ @shettysahab Oops, I forgot to put that one in. Somebody already got it. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Oct 16, 2015 at 14:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "I've come up with a new Conservative party member," Tom said while preparing an invenTory. Conservative party was formed from the Tory party. $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2015 at 10:24

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