Countdown

One letter is to be omitted from each of nine across answers (in one case as a doublet) – the secondary indications (anagrams etc.) refer to the answer after omission.  These letters in clue order spell out a pronouncement attainable by repeated consideration of the six unclued down answers, which are of a kind.

ACROSS

1              Scotsman, say, receiving something ludicrous – one grand (8)

7              Rob beheaded for nothing? (5)

11           Concerned with rubber band? (6)

13           Cheap instrument – one carried by zany character endlessly? (5)

15           Speaking noisily – shouting with joy, as it were (8)

16           Very much about one male having no length of shin (7)

17           Prison ship (4)

18           Disease with multiplying discharge (4)

19           Hairband – one secured by nail! (5)

22           Line I quote (non-English) is allowable (5)

24           What Sandy uses to eat middle of dessert – this one? (6)

26           Abnormal growth round a body regressing? Not right (6)

30           Test volunteer soldier who’s ignored the Queen (5)

32           Back introduction of greenery, on reflection? I might! (6)

33           Antipodean valley is turned over (5)

34           Love or loves? (5)

35           Wheeled vehicle – take one quietly into alley (7)

37           Crab larvae cooked in pilau (7)

39           Hiss is held back by snake – listen! (6)

40           Purple telephone returned after one’s installed (5)

41           We make cuts in a former government department (5)

42           Military vehicle after small amount of petrol, say, discarded container (8, 2 words)

DOWN

2              One type of vermouth served up – for a teetotaller? (4)

4              Main source of coal running short (3)

5              Eucalyptus removing core from the skin blemish (6)

8              Hideaway would briefly do for nobleman (5)

9              Study first elements of integral calculus, say, or geometry (6)

12           Scanty garb in which you will see I am clothing her when disheartened (5)

14           Proper cross, having cracked china, botching things (6)

20           Famed engraver detailed hated bodyguard’s coercion (6)

23           Hunted water creatures – one escaped in river-mouth routine, turning over (7)

25           Ancient Asian language has lain abandoned (7)

27           A fox’s first to attack chicken (6)

28           King Edward, perhaps – one hung in gallery (5)

31           Hen to cry about duck’s egg? (5)

34           Gladdens artillerymen, in part? It used to (4)

36           Knitting style requires a decrease in row? (4)

38           Mountain edge that one’s slipped from under peak of Andes (3)

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Solution

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