I have a question about this. Is the fact that the gelatin emulsion is wet and swollen during the processing in any way involved with the lighter appearance when wet then when dry? I don't know this to be the case but I wonder if it isn't involved. I could visualize that gelatin would be more transparent when wet then when dry. What are your thoughts about that?

Apart from the dry down factor, I think that the glow of a print is directly related to local contrast. I asked Sandy King about that awhile back and he thought that was true as well.