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This was a popular problem that was answered correctly by many of you. The messages say "HELP ME" and "BROKEN".

Mathew Ladley from Saddleworth School reasoned as follows:

"For the first answer I narrowed down the possibilities of the broken pin - either the bottom right or the middle right one (since these hadn't been used). So then I just worked out what letter each symbol could possibly be, and worked it out from there..."

Ben Goulding from Whitgift School added:

"The dot on the middle right is not working. Some letters do not need this dot so do not get caught out."

Catherine Y and Yi Jean C from North London Collegiate decoded the second message as follows:

"We made a list of possible letters for each symbol, allowing either no mistakes or 1 mistake. We got a list as follows:

First letter could be: BFHL

Second letter could be: NORZ

Third letter could be: NORZ

Fourth letter could be: KLMOU

Fifth letter could be: DEHO

Sixth letter could be: MNPX

From here, we tried to make words:

The first two letters could either be Bo, Fo, Ho, Br or Lo.

We just tried various words until we got to BROKEN!!!"