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X に失敗する means "fail to X" or "fail to achieve success in X", in other words, your objective is met with failure trying to do X. Otherwise, it just means intransitive fail, or "make a failure". で is just there to indicate the circumstance. × 試験に失敗したが、合格することができた I failed the exam, but I was able to pass it. (contradictory) ○ ...


Your hunch is pretty close. In this case it indicates situational context. 入れ違いで亜美さんが出て行ったところです。 Ami was going out as we walked by each other.

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