And I hope nobody tries to say that xi or neve aren't English words, just because they didn't arrive via Old English. Such a person would have a very odd definition of English vocabulary indeed.
No, that's not the problem. It's just that John specifically said that the reversed word had to be non-plural.
The solution to the puzzle also has to be an English word. So I guess that eliminates OREZ (which I just discovered is Romanian for "rice").
That rule also eliminates ENO SUNIM, RobertB, but it was a clever suggestion. Using my favorite acronym finder, I was able to verify that ENO is used for at least 42 things. But where the connotation of "cool" comes from I have no idea.
Well, if we restrict comments strictly to the puzzle, we would have missed a lot. The puzzle said "counting up" and that eliminates non-positive integers and all non-integers.
Come to think of it, I do use fractions when playing hide-and-seek with my granddaughters. Nine. Nine and a half. Nine and two thirds. Nine and three fours. Nine and four fifths. Eventually they yell at me and I know just where they are.