Theme & Variations
by Theresa Cunningham

The 3 unclued theme words have something in common.  Each of them has 3 related
variations, though the nature of the variation differs for each theme word.

...
Theme & Variations Grid
12A. Theme Word A (7)
18A. Variation on theme word A (4)
25A. Variation on theme word A (7)
42A. Variation on theme word A (6)

40A. Theme Word B (6)
33A. Variation on theme word B (4)
6D.   Variation on theme word B (4)
31D. Variation on theme word B (6)

22D. Theme Word C (5)
6A.   Variation on theme word C (5)
1D.   Variation on theme word C (5)
11D. Variation on theme word C (5)

Across
1.   Someone observing suds around ship's cargo deck (8)
10. A pickle container's slightly open (4)
11. Go read novel with a turned-down page corner (3-3)
13. I breathe lighter with rhythmic verse (6)
15. Mother running back to meet fellow somewhere in Jordan (5)
17. Grinder put papers in order (4)
19. Send away cloth that's phased out every time? (5)
21. Sticky black goo and pepper on fish (6)
23. Speak to Reds' sad pitching (7)
27. Set in motion at a cute stranger (7)
29. Reportedly sloughs off classes (6)
32. Rod doesn't open diner (5)
35. Roman leader overthrown in Florence (4)
38. Host of Mass college wearing large shoe size (5)
41. Lead Mao's revolution in style (1,2,4)
43. The thing's going to essentially kill Tibetan reactionary (4)
44. Sound of Jazz and Blues is overflowing (5)
45. That guy to sit with social worker? Doubtful (8)
Down
2.   Conceal laugh before setup of Rob Reiner's finale (6)
3.   Killer whale, in other words, north of California (4)
4.   Still, Rodman freaked out at famous model (7)
5.   Controlled rush to get in (6)
7.   Alabama city's abstract sculptures (7)
8.   Rage of British Petroleum (4)
9.   Gets to a cold segment of causeway with hairpin turns (8)
14. Drunken cretan's stupor (6)
16. Mania he developed for home of the Angels (7)
17. Makes compact firearms to do away with listener (5)
20. Rampaging steers in compounds (6)
21. Art printed up over part of a map, with an element of child's play? (5,3)
24. Rattles broken alarm (7)
26. One hundred islands on the Seine ringing 100 glacial formations? (7)
28. Ditch tool with a different top (6)
30. Limitless raw material of a region (5)
34. Lived down aftermath of a beating (5)
36. Facility rented between terminals (4)
37. Turned over Sir Isaac's original eyepiece? (4)
39. Utter lies in anti-Semitism (4)
Solution
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