# Nominally, he has only half a life at 59! - British cryptic crossword question

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.

• That's quite a long life: $277366237091379671475878039440778812691805753545374865081642589880320000000000000$. Nov 11, 2019 at 21:26
• @WhatsUp I don't get your comment??
– smci
Nov 12, 2019 at 9:28
• @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 Nov 12, 2019 at 9:43
• @legrojan. Ah, right. My brain skipped the '!'
– smci
Nov 12, 2019 at 10:26

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!

• Thanks! I think this is definitely correct. And my own name, as well, as a bonus! Nov 11, 2019 at 21:24
• @Lordology Whaaaaa'?!! Now that is a super weird coincidence...!
– Stiv
Nov 11, 2019 at 21:26
• Given the solution, I think "before 59" would have been a better way to write the puzzle than "at 59". Nov 12, 2019 at 10:23
• I would have expected an element with an atomic half life of 59 units of time like... googles Titanium 44. Nov 12, 2019 at 11:18
• @nick012000, that wouldn't be a cryptic clue. Nov 12, 2019 at 13:01