* in the * heyday * of * * * my * life * * * after * an * * * excellent * * * * * cut * of * * * * * meat * * * a * typical * * * example * * * * * of * * * * * my * main * * * * * concern * * * was * an * * * * * apostrophe.

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In the heyday of my life

That is, in my prime.

after an excellent cut of meat

That is, a prime cut.

a typical example

... a prime example ...

of my main concern

... my prime concern ...

was an apostrophe.

Not exactly -- but the prime used by mathematicians to indicate differentiation and the like ($f'$) somewhat resembles an apostrophe.

And of course

"paramount" is another word that can be an approximate synonym of "prime".

* * * * *

Number the words-and-asterisks from 1 upwards; the words are in the prime positions and the asterisks in the others.

  • You've got the clues absolutely correct, but the asterisks part is important. It will make sense when you see it :-) – Rand al'Thor Aug 15 at 16:57
  • Wow, did you just know that Grothendieck fact offhand or did you look up the number? – Lord Farquaad Aug 15 at 17:54
  • 1
    @LordFarquaad: It's a pretty well-known "joke" in the mathematics community. (There's a very low bar for math humor.) – Deusovi Aug 15 at 18:23
  • @Deusovi no no no, math humor's the best! How else can you start jokes with "An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar..." ? – Lord Farquaad Aug 15 at 18:28
  • 2
    Yes, I did know offhand about the Grothendieck prime. I'm fairly well versed in mathematical humour, though. – Gareth McCaughan Aug 15 at 18:52

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