Circuit is a three-LED reading lamp. Batteries were left in for "a long time, but it worked last time I used it" according to Mom. Unknown if switch was 0 or 1. All three batteries were inserted correctly. Spring,-|+,post; in device. Tested one battery with a Sperry BT500. Black to Neg, Red to Pos. Needle jumped in the WRONG direction. Reversed leads. Needle swung to middle of "REPLACE" range on analog scale, and slowly started dropping further from the "GOOD" range of the scale.
I had searched on Startpage for "Energizer "AAA" reversed polarity", and the first link in the list was "Possible causes for AAA battery to explode".
Mine didn't explode, there were three in the circuit (correctly), no IR, no charging capability.