For rapid drying of negatives, some people with deadlines and no concern for the arcivability of a negative, would give a short wash and then a rinse in alcohol. This allowed the negative to dry quickly. Often, they would rewash and dry normally after their deadline was met.
Also, newspaper prints were so poor that sharpness was not a concern, but no one worked to unsharpen something. The negatives processed in different developers had different degrees of sharpness due to the edge effects of the developer on the emulsion.