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The reason 1k resistor is recommend is it limits the possible current flow to 3.3mA in the event that you connect the 3.3v pin to a gpio set to output and low so preventing any damage, were as your 220 ohm resistor would only limit it to 15mA which is rather close to the limit for a single gpio pin.
And I would agree as well. The buttons, if not pushed, might as well not be there, so the only thing it can be are the LCD connection, unless there is something else we are not being told about.
That seems counter to the above. It might therefore be some other issue. It might though be coincidental that the failure occurred when adding the extra buttons rather than causal.
That makes sense. Not used to things that can bet configured in software like that.
No. The problem just arises in different circumstances, when the GPIO is accidentally set to output, high and the button connects it to ground.