Hi Joe:
I'm new too, but i may have a solution for you: try using a small piece of gel or acetate 85a filter material behind the hole. It will act as a conversion filter for the paper neg.

I tested this out last year, in preparation for a pinhole project. Basically, I too was annoyed that I was getting unpredictable , highly contrasty results using Multigrade4 whreas 20 years before ( yes, it was a while back) my paper negs , with graded Ilfospeed, were just wonderful . My suspicion was that as the newer papers were redesigned for filtered tungsten illumination at 3200K- and were thus highly blue-sensitive, that raw exposure to daylight -5500K- would then shift the paper into high contrast overdrive...so I mounted a small square of 85 filter gel ( scrounged from a film shoot) behind the hole as an experiment. It worked. In effect, I was exposing the paper neg to the light it was designed for.

The results were encouraging:the contrast was lessened considerably and the paper negs became much more tonal in gradation.There was a noticeable increase in exposure required, but that worked out to the project's benefit.

The only thing that doesn't change is the paper's insensitivity to red or near-red, so you still have to take into account that the paper neg will print these colours as dark-grey to black.