Alright, this is a struggle. Brain dumping. Compiling the most key reds we have received:
Kinzo’s ruled out by default, so Genji is the only one who could possibly prepare anything beforehand.
This implies that in the switched scenario, only the servants can be culprits. Not including Genji, Shannon is the only one who even comes in the room let alone in Krauss’ awareness zone.
The most frustrating. Krauss can’t be distracted by anything enough for a swap to take place, which wouldn’t be as frustrating except…
All mechanisms have been ruled out by these, essentially.
It must have been done by hand, but a hand couldn’t have done it. Therefore it must have been staged, but the number makes that impossible.
- Kumasawa leaves the kitchen just before the toast, to ‘change sheets’. Pretty suspicious.
- The sharp object. It must be relevant, but perhaps not as relevant as we’d like if ‘the point isn’t to precisely identify it’. Still, the fact that it’s sharp is peculiar. Also, is it relevant that he stepped on it with his right foot specifically? As Blackrune pointed out, it can’t have anything to do with rigging the cart because it’s at the exit.
- The seating arrangement is absolutely bizarre. Even if you ignore that the Ushiromiya family is ‘supposed’ to sit by generation, it’s still very odd. Maria and Nanjo next to the head, Battler sitting next to Eva rather than George, Kyrie and Rudolf being the only couple sitting across from each other. Considering that nobody in the dining room wrote the letter during dinner, though, I don’t know what to do with this.
- The statue. Is it relevant, or just some detail? Could any ol’ rock have replaced it? It can’t be a remote stamp or something like that, because the letter was handwritten using a normal pen…
My last idea is that perhaps writing on the envelope can bypass the ‘handwritten’ clause, ink bleeding through, but that’s only enough to get by with the blank number idea, implying it was staged.
Genji is the only one who knew about the letter before hand, and thus is the only person who could have prewritten events and staged them. However, because he doesn’t enter the field of awareness after the number game, he cannot be the culprit. So, we can rule out prewriting.
We have yet to rule out the statue moving outside the field of awareness, as ridiculous as that would be, but since the family can’t write the letter it would have to leave the room and come back, which is absolutely ridiculous. It’s safe to say anything that violates common sense awareness is just going to get a white text denial like above.
A traditional mentalist trick (which it feels inspired by, especially with Battler’s game) like this with actually unpredictable input usually involves the magician swapping the letter, but since Krauss is the only one who can possibly touch the letter this trick is unprecedented afaik.
That’s all I got. I’m losing sleep.