Last November and December I had a lot of free time on my hands, so I began a project to gauge my solving speed on paper. I started with this book of daily NYT crosswords from September-December 2004. Over a few weeks I worked through all the puzzles in the book, plus all the Sunday puzzles from the same time period, and the dailies not included in the book, printed out from the Times archives.
This ended up being 17 weeks' worth of NYT puzzles. I calculated my average for each day of the week, tossing out the slowest and fastest times. Here are the results:
Monday - 2:41
Tuesday - 2:48
Wednesday - 3:18
Thursday - 3:53
Friday - 5:14
Saturday - 5:48
Sunday - 9:10
These days my times are generally faster than that, because I've been practicing on paper more recently. So it's good to have a kind of baseline to see how my skills have developed. Based on solving times posted on Crossword Fiend, I'm in the neighborhood of Al and Trip, and shouldn't be too worried about lack of pencil/paper experience.
Stay tuned for future installments of "Dan Trains for the ACPT", including "Dan Competes Against Top Solvers of the '80s" and "Dan Re-Solves Last Year's Puzzles"...