The two odd things here are 1) I submitted for two .IO transfers in the same transaction, meaning set them both up at the same time. In fact, the one that took hours was actually the first domain of the two in the list. I know that probably doesnt matter but what is odd is that the other domain happened within moments -- meaning as fast as I could accept and click what I had to click, etc. When I asked NameCheap they said they didnt know what was holding it up but it was likely the losing registrar. 2) the second thing is this, in 20 years of buying, selling, transferring, etc - this is the first time a transfer took longer than a few minutes so I was thrown for a loop.
But its all transferred now and OK.
@mojo Well technically transfers used to take about to 7 days to complete up until a few years ago when most registrars switched to the rapid transfer method. There are still registrars out there that make you wait the 7 days such as Network Solutions.