11
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enter image description here

Across
3. High-pitched sound of loud automobile coming around too regularly (8)
7. Old TV show prosecutor's entertaining everyone (6)
9. Town in Arcadia orders one to retire (6)
10. Shake alien's spaceships (7)
11. Plan of wrestler and actor, John: Visiting small city in the tropics (8)
12. Align wheels to one in Munich (3,2)
14. Cross Mr. McKellen showing old capital (2'2)
15. I overlooked mix CD, produced 1410 (4)
19. Plays lead roles to get fixtures on Hollywood Walk of Fame (5)
20. A number of criminals controlling Frankfurt's #1 theme park (3,5)
22. Diana's only accepted Victor's break up (8)
24. Dictator's hunted innocent (6)
25. Berlin criminal ring kidnapped six (6)
26. Rabbits caught by boomerang or a spear (7)

Down
1. Space where things may be stored and gemstones flourish, according to Spooner (3-4)
2. Otherwise in Gelsenkirchen (4)
4. Part of France's tourists finally entered Schönbrunn, perhaps needing no introduction (6)
5. Increasingly threadlike small layer covering piece of jewellery (9)
6. Set up, turn about, making intitial attempt (4,3)
7. Fish can can, maybe, can bottom of can (4)
8. Article on American metal producer, wrestler and actor, Steve (6)
13. Oops! Ladle spilt sauce (3,2,4)
15. Ex dancing with manic latino? (7)
16. Mountaineer's stirrup from German city south of a border of France (6)
17. Germanic kingdom of different sexes (5)
18. Christie is good at being in band (6)
21. Horse-fly's appendage is under cat-person's head (4)
23. Prison I initially recognised south of Stuttgart on vacation (4)

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0
7
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Grid:

enter image description here

Across

3. FALSETTO F TESLA< T(-o)O High-pitched sound of loud automobile coming around too regularly (8)
7. DALLAS DA'S entertaining ALL Old TV show prosecutor's entertaining everyone (6)
9. ASTROS (SORTS A)< Town in Arcadia orders one to retire (6)
10. ROCKETS ROCK ET'S Shake alien's spaceships (7)
11. SCENARIO CENAR visiting S RIO Plan of wrestler and actor, John: Visiting small city in the tropics (8)
12. TOE IN TO + EIN Align wheels to one in Munich (3,2)
14. XI'AN X + IAN Cross Mr. McKellen showing old capital (2'2)
15. MCDX (M(-i)XCD)* I overlooked mix CD, produced 1410 (4)
19. STARS ddef Plays lead roles to get fixtures on Hollywood Walk of Fame (5)
20. SIX FLAGS SIX LAGS around F(-rankfurt) A number of criminals controlling Frankfurt's #1 theme park (3,5)
22. DISSOLVE DI'S SOLE accepting V Diana's only accepted Victor's break up (8)
24. CHASTE homophone of CHASED Dictator's hunted innocent (6)
25. IRVING RING* kidnapping VI Berlin criminal ring kidnapped six (6)
26. ANGORAS substring Rabbits caught by boomerang or a spear (7)

Down

1. BOX-ROOM spoonerism of ROCKS BOOM Space where things may be stored and gemstones flourish, according to Spooner (3-4)
2. ELSE substring Otherwise in Gelsenkirchen (4)
4. ALSACE (-tourist)S in (-p)ALACE Part of France's tourists finally entered Schönbrunn, perhaps needing no introduction (6)
5. STRINGIER S TIER covering RING Increasingly threadlike small layer covering piece of jewellery (9)
6. TEST RUN SET< + TURN* Set up, turn about, making intitial attempt (4,3)
7. DACE DANCE, canning (i.e., discarding) (-ca)N Fish can can, maybe, can bottom of can (4)
8. AUSTIN A US TIN Article on American metal producer, wrestler and actor, Steve (6)
13. OLD EL PASO (OOPS LADLE)* Oops! Ladle spilt sauce (3,2,4)
15. MEXICAN (EX MANIC)* Ex dancing with manic latino? (7)
16. ETRIER TRIER south of (-franc)E Mountaineer's stirrup from German city south of a border of France (6)
17. ESSEX SEXES* Germanic kingdom of different sexes (5)
18. AGATHA G AT in A-HA Christie is good at being in band (6)
21. CLEG LEG under C(-atperson) Horse-fly's appendage is under cat-person's head (4)
23. STIR I R(-ecognised) south of S(-tuttgar)T Prison I initially recognised south of Stuttgart on vacation (4)

Incidentally, I (entirely unreasonably) don't like 18d because

etymologically AGATHA actually means "good" :-).

More seriously,

aren't the two defs in 19a rather closely related to one another? I suspect the HWOF uses stars exactly because (acting) stars are called stars, but if not then I bet it uses stars for the same reason as why (acting) stars are called stars, i.e., because the brightness of actual stars symbolizes the impressiveness of the actors.

Theme explanation (addition from OP):

As mentioned in the comments, the theme here was the state of Texas. Dallas, Irving and Austin are all cities in the state, and the Astros, the Rockets and the Stars are all Texas-based pro sports teams. In addition there's the Texas-based theme park corporation Six Flags and the food brand Old El Paso which references another major city in the state. The title references the state's slogan "Don't mess with Texas".

There's also a pointer to the theme of the puzzle hidden in the grid:

enter image description here

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9
  • $\begingroup$ Jeremy posted his all-but-one-and-no-grid-yet answer 9 minutes before my complete answer. Of course I haven't looked at his. Jafe, feel free to make whatever judgement you please about priority :-). $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 30 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ I should add that 9 minutes ago I was missing two answers. (But had been filling in the grid as I went.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 30 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Great catch on 7D. No worries about sharing meaningless Internet points :-) $\endgroup$ Mar 30 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ "Catch", ho ho. That was actually my second-last one; 7a was my last. I'm not great at popular culture, though I had at least heard of the show in question. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 30 at 13:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I completely missed the real theme while solving, but there does seem to be a lot of rot13(Grknf) in the answers. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 30 at 13:53
7
$\begingroup$

COMPLETED GRID

Completed grid

ACROSS

3. FALSETTO = F (forte/loud) + TESLA< + ToO
7. DALLAS = DA'S + ALL
9. ASTROS = A + SORTS<
10. ROCKETS = ROCK + ET'S
11. SCENARIO = S (small) + CENA + RIO
12. TOE IN = TO + EIN
14. XI'AN = X (cross) + IAN
15. MCDX = M(-i)X + CD
19. STARS (ddef.)
20. SIX FLAGS = SIX + LAGS (British slang) + F_
22. DISSOLVE = DI'S + SOLE + V (phonetic)
24. CHASTE = "CHASED"
25. IRVING = RING* + VI
26. ANGORAS = _ANG OR A S_

DOWN

1. BOX-ROOM = "ROCKS BOOM" (Spooner)
2. ELSE = gELSEenkirchen
4. ALSACE = (-p)ALACE + _S
5. STRINGIER = S (small) + TIER + RING
6. TEST RUN = SET< + TURN*
7. DACE = ????
8. AUSTIN = A + US + TIN
13. OLD EL PASO = OOPS LADLE*
15. MEXICAN = EX + MANIC*
16. ETRIER = _E + TRIER
17. ESSEX = SEXES*
18. AGATHA = A-HA + G_ + AT
21. CLEG = C_ + LEG
23. STIR = I + R_ south of S_T (Stuttgart, on vacation...nice, jafe!!!!)

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