circuit tester indicates 'hot/neutral reverse at an outlet...but nothing works at it.

In reading a few posts here, the H/N reversed readout seems not all that uncommon (using a 3 bulb tester). But in my situation no appliances work from this outlet, which seems atypical of the posts I've seem, which seem to say things will work, just un-safely. The same situation exists at (what I expect) is the next wall outlet along this circuit.
Could the 'fix' for these outlets be something other than reversing the connections in the box?
I should also add that I think the end of this circuit is at a never- functioned ceiling light outlet.
House built 1974. One owner.
Thanks. I know this is very brief, just keeping it simple to start.
Brian
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Those testers are not reliable in open circuit situations. If you use a lamp in a pigtail socket, test between the ground and hot(small slot), you should get a light. Then test between the hot and neutral, you should get a light. If you didn't get the first light, but did get the second, your hot and neutrals are reversed, otherwise, you have an open circuit to one or the other conductors. As outlet wiring is typically daisy chained, you want to look in the last working outlet on the chain or the first dead outlet , for the loose connection.

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Thanks,
I will check those tests later today. I have not changed any connections yet.

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It definitely sounds like an open circuit, but until you do the test, you won't know if it's the hot or the neutral leg that's open. You will probably find a badly back stabbed outlet is the culprit

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Remembering that quite often (especially with those back stabbed outlets but also with other types of duplex outlets) the current will likely go 'through' each outlet to the next one in the chain of six to ten on that 'run'. Not very many domestically wired duplex outlets have seen are pigtailed off the live and neutral in the back of each metal duplex box.
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I ran the test with the lamp trster.
I got a light between the hot and neutral, but no light between the ground and hot.
What worries me is that other posters say they get the same error message, yet the outlet still allows appliances to work from it, but un safely. Where these two outlet boxes I have don't allow any appliances or light to work.
Is that some thing I should be unduly worried about before I attempt to look for the 'bad' connection?
Thanks
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