a few tips:
1) power it up for the first time through a 100ohm resistor, and measure the voltage over that resistor: this assures you if there is short.
2) you need to make sure that the dc working points are correct. Measure voltage on Q1's b / c, Q2's b/e/c, Q3's b/e. and compare them to what you expect. For example, Q1's b should be about 0.7v, Q2's b should float with RV2, etc.
3) if you have a scope, it would be helpful but get the dc working points and report back.
1) I measured the voltage over a 100r resistor in place of the led. It was 0v. I asume this is what you mean telling me there is a short.
2) -i measured the voltage across q1. it reads 0.230mv from c-b, 0.6v from b-e and 0.85v from c-e.
-q2: 4.5v from c-b, 5v c-e, 0.5v b-e
-q3: 4.8v c-b, 5v c-e, 0v b-e
3) no scope :/