I was able to install from my thumbdrive that has a test version from last May on it (the same one I needed to use to install on my NUC).
The biggest issue is that apparently I can’t set up drive encryption; the two options offered by the installer are LUKS 1 and LUKS 2 (if memory serves) but then the installer claims it can’t install with either of those enabled.
OK, the issue turns out to be that I was installing onto an SSD that had a lot of stuff on it. I somehow did not find the option to simply “reclaim space” (I did find it tonight…and I couldn’t tell you how I did it now). So I found myself trying to create a custom layout, and it is not at all intuitive how one should lay such a thing out. It was in there that it was refusing to install with LUKS enabled…and again, I can’t find my way there.
What I actually want to do is only use about half of the SSD for the installation, and put another partition in the other half (I would mount it to a qube and use it for “offline” storage). What little I have found on how to do this is completely incomprehensible. But that’s beyond the scope of an HCL report.
Once properly installed yesterday Qubes seemed to work fine. I’m partway through a re-install and since I did trip over “reclaim space” (which of course will not only default to the whole SSD; it won’t let you do anything else) LUKS installed fine, just following the installation process I’ve had to decrypt the disk once.