Bro, I can't make sense of what you wrote...
"Those 4 spraycanned legs on each side are bridged". This is what your pic tries to show as well. NO, this is not normal... very un-normal. And, no chip will ever work like that.
But then you say, "with no visible signs" and "there's no solder connecting the legs". But that's the definition of a bridge... solder connecting legs. So, is it bridged? Is there solder connecting the legs?
If so, here's the easiest way to fix and remove:
You'll need some solder braid, and I recommned some solder flux paste. Put a light coating of flux across the bridge, and then lay the braid over top. Press your soldering iron into the braid for a couple seconds in between each bridged leg. Should suck the excess into the braid. Rinse and repeat if necessary (Just kidding... no rinsing).
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Oshawa modder... up there in Canada.