All it needed was something on the save matrix saying "To determine which save applies, start at the left column and work right; and the first column you hit that's appropriate, use that." I'm 99% sure this was the intent of how it was supposed to work, Gygax just forgot to include the instructions.Yeah, but I tell you, a lot of people didn't really seem to understand the save hierarchy. Or what things added bonuses to saves). And there were always things that defaulted to "spells", to the point that I always felt like 80% of saving throws I made were against spells.
Now people not grokking the rules isn't a strike against those rules, but it does show that they could have been made clearer and simplified.