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I believe cryptic crossword questions are valid here, though do forgive me if I'm wrong!

NOMINALLY, HE HAS ONLY HALF A LIFE AT 59! (5)

The "(5)" denotes the amount of letters in the answer.

HINT:

From the nominally part, I believe that the answer is a name, though I'm not sure why.

What's the answer, and why?

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  • 11
    $\begingroup$ That's quite a long life: $277366237091379671475878039440778812691805753545374865081642589880320000000000000$. $\endgroup$ – WhatsUp Nov 11 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ @WhatsUp I don't get your comment?? $\endgroup$ – smci Nov 12 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ @smci 59! (that is, the factorial of 59) is 1.366*10^80. But that's only half his life, so the full life is twice as much: 2.77*10^80 $\endgroup$ – legrojan Nov 12 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ @legrojan. Ah, right. My brain skipped the '!' $\endgroup$ – smci Nov 12 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ @WhatsUp I'm not sure how I feel about living into the quattuordecillions... $\endgroup$ – Lordology Nov 12 at 16:08
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Your instinct is correct - the answer is indeed a five-letter name, clued by 'Nominally, he' (so you are looking for a male name, specifically). It is:

FELIX

Why?

'Half a life' gives you 'FE' (literally, the second half of the four-letter word 'LIFE'). Fifty-nine in Roman numerals is 'LIX'. Put them together, and voila!

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  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Thanks! I think this is definitely correct. And my own name, as well, as a bonus! $\endgroup$ – Lordology Nov 11 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Lordology Whaaaaa'?!! Now that is a super weird coincidence...! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Nov 11 at 21:26
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    $\begingroup$ Given the solution, I think "before 59" would have been a better way to write the puzzle than "at 59". $\endgroup$ – Sebastian Redl Nov 12 at 10:23
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    $\begingroup$ I would have expected an element with an atomic half life of 59 units of time like... googles Titanium 44. $\endgroup$ – nick012000 Nov 12 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ @nick012000, that wouldn't be a cryptic clue. $\endgroup$ – gidds Nov 12 at 13:01

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