The correction to misprints in clues
spelt out “maths *homme*”,
a hint to the French mathematician Blaise Pascal.
Among the answers anagrammed in the grid were
(Pascal’s) TRIANGLE and
(Pascal’s) WAGER, and
filling the central cell with O produced
(Pascal’s) THEOREM,
all of which were to be highlighted.
Six of the clashes were resolved by choosing
the letters of PASCAL (reading clockwise)
and discarding BLAISE in the corresponding positions.
The puzzle’s title referred to the pascal,
the derived SI unit of pressure.

Pascal’s theorem relates to points on a conic section, that is, any curve formed by the intersection of a plane with a circular cone, such as the ellipse shown in green in the diagram here. The theorem states that if any six points on the conic are connected by a series of straight lines in any order, thus forming a hexagon, then the points where opposite sides of the hexagon cross are in a straight line (the “Pascal line”). If the sides don’t cross immediately, they must be extended outwards until they do (in the Euclidean plane, there are special cases where opposite sides are parallel, but they don’t apply here). In the illustration here, the hexagon is traced in the order PSLCAA (ending at the A on the left), with opposite sides shown in the same colour for reference. One pair crossed in the grid’s central cell containing O; the other two pairs crossed in the remaining clash cells, where either choice from G/S and D/B made real words in both directions. The letters had to be chosen to spell GOD along the Pascal line, being the subject of Pascal’s wager, the philosophical argument that it’s rational to behave as though God exists, because the disadvantages of doing so even if there is no God are outweighed by the punishments of hell if God does exist.

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No | Misprint | Answer | Explanation |
---|---|---|---|

Across | |||

2 | PTSD | PT + S(a)D | |

5 | HASSLING | HAS + SLING | |

11 | RAIDED | AID in RED | |

13 | PLASMA | SAMPL(e) * + A | |

14 | IDÉES | I’D + SEE < | |

15 | TAENIOID | (I DON A TIE) * | |

18 | ARABIST | (AS A BRIT) * | |

19 | PUGH | (rus)H after PUG | |

21 | STEEVE | STEVE with middle letter repeated | |

22 | GRIS | RIG * + S | |

23 | NEELE | (E(mit) E(ffluent) L(eaking)) in NE | |

24 | ERL | (B)ERL(iners) | |

26 | LEARN | NEARL(y) * | |

29 | CLARO | R in COAL * | |

31 | SYE | YES * | |

33 | GORPS | SPROG < | |

36 | BREW | (em)BR(yo) (lik)EW(ise) | |

37 | BRETON | BREST’S SONS − every S | |

38 | TEAT | TREAT − R | |

42 | MARKING | 2 meanings | |

43 | CYRENAIC | (NICE + RACY) * | |

44 | MEANE | MEAN + E | |

45 | APNEIC | (IN PACE) * | |

46 | bo(M)b | MORTAR | MORTAL with R for L |

47 | dec(A)ying | MANKIEST | (SIN MAKE) * + ’T |

48 | chan(T)ed | NOEL | (O’ + E(xtremism)) in NL |

Down | |||

1 | INTEGRAL | INT + LARGE < | |

2 | PADRE | PAD + RE | |

3 | TILAPIA | LIT < + AP + AI < | |

4 | DESIGN | S in DEIGN | |

6 | (H)ate | LOATHE | LATHE around O |

7 | re(S)ting | ABED | ABE + D(welling) |

8 | HAIR-EEL | HAIR GEL − G around E | |

9 | ISOMER | SOME in IR | |

10 | GADE | GE(d) around AD | |

12 | DEBUG | DEBU(t) + G | |

16 | NOTE | ETON < | |

17 | INVAR | IN + VAR | |

20 | HERON | HER + ON | |

21 | SLEPT | SEPT around L | |

25 | WORDAGES | W/O + GRADES * | |

27 | EARLY | EAR + L + Y | |

28 | s(H)ort | RETWEET | RET around TWEE |

30 | ARTISTE | (STIR TEA) * | |

32 | L(O)ngs | YEARNS | YES around (A + RN) |

33 | (M)uppet | GOON | GO ON |

34 | REMISE | REVISE with M for V | |

35 | ho(M)ily | SERMON | SON around ERM |

36 | mos(E)y | DAKER | RAKED * |

39 | ANNAL | (N + A) in (A + N + L) | |

40 | SCAM | MAC’S < | |

41 | LAIK | LAIR with K for R |