Looking at the coffee table you made, I think that sliding dovetails may have worked for attaching the table top. You could have extended the short rails of the skirt up over the top of the legs and created the tail. Or extend the legs. Then cut two slots in the top. Don't use glue or only use it on one end. Might look a bit awkward with the slots being exposed at the edges though. But you could have filled them with more maple. Or you could have ripped the top lengthwise, cut stopped slots, and then slide each side of the slab onto the frame and glue it back together at the saw joint.