Many thanks to all respondees for making me think hard.
There is a lot of guff written on the web about the importance of closures; mostly supported by a) largely opaque, academic arguments; b) partiality for particular languages that (first) support(ed) them; c) trivial textbook examples where their use can often be replaced by less esoteric language constructs.
Real life examples of why they are useful are hard to find.
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