One of the things I've heard about TLH is that the rubber snake included in the package wasn't actually listed on the label, and since Infocom games were sold in top-opening packages, they hoped you might dump the package out and get a surprise. But who dumped things out of their packages? Oh well.
I was greatly enjoying this article until the completely unnecessary and quite childish jab at H.P. Lovecraft. It serves no point in this article except to beat a dead horse that has already been beaten to death three times over. We get it. He was a racist. So were a lot of people at the time. I don't need to have it rubbed in my face every time his name comes up, least of all when I'm just trying to read an article about an obscure Infocom text adventure.
If you judge people only by their failures, you will always be disappointed.