Crossword Genius

Surprise as lunatics returning (4)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

stun

Here is my best explanation:

'surprise' is the definition.

(stunning is a kind of surprising)

'lunatics returning' is the subsidiary indication.

'lunatics' becomes 'nuts'.

'returning' is a reversal indicator.

'nuts' backwards is 'stun'.

'as' is the link.

This clue was last seen in The Times

(Other definitions for stun that I've seen before include "Leave speechless", "Amaze; knock senseless", "Knock unconscious", "Daze, scatter senses", "deliver a knock-out blow", "Render temporarily senseless", "Astonish", "Taser", "Confound" and "Make senseless or dizzy with a blow".)

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