To put it most simply, it seems that if we have our comments broken into pages and want the newest comments first, all we can get is last page leftovers, not a first page of the most recent comments.
In the admin area page settings >> discussion there are options to break comments into pages, to set the first or last page, and to set the order within a page. however there is no option to order the list in "desc" order so that the newest comments are first ... with the first page having the newest comments. Also, the one place which seems to have such an option does not work: the "wp_list_comments( array(", in the Twenty Fourteen theme's comments.php program (which provides a 'reverse_top_level'=> 'true' option - mentioned in the codex documentation page): it did not change it to descending for me. It is still ascending with the newest comments at the end - on the last page.
(for the above testing on my test copy, I had turned off all plugins and set the theme to Twenty Fourteen.)
What am I missing?