I had an interesting experience with one of my original Google Home units where I would ask it what the news was, it would say “here’s the latest news….” and lock up for about a minute.
The second time I would ask it it would relent and work. This became a regular thing for the past month with the only weird issue being that first request for news in the morning.
It also wasn’t just the first request, it was the first request for news. I could stream other things, change house temperature, etc…
I dropped it from the network, joined again, same thing the next day. Solution finally ended up being to forget it from my home, reset it by holding the mute button down for something like 15 seconds (it’ll warn you you’re coming up on a reset,) and then setting it up again.
Sadly turning it off and on again wasn’t the answer.
My guess is during one of the software updates something failed, resetting it cleared the evil bit/data cache, rejoining brought it back into the fold.