6
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I'm a publisher. Yesterday I received an email from someone who wanted me to publish his book. However, he refused to send it to me unless I figured out his name. I sent back an email with the answer 'Rumplestiltskin', but he said no. Instead, he sent me this:

bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb/gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb.bar|bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.bar.bar.bar.bar ^
bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb|bar.bar.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.bar.bar.bar ^
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.gjb.gjb.gjb ^
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.gjb.gjb.gjb <>
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.bar.gjb.gjb ^
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.bar.bar.bar.bar <>
bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb|gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb.bar|bar.bar.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.bar.bar.bar ^
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb/gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb.bar ^
bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb|bar.bar.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.bar.bar.gjb.gjb|gjb.gjb.gjb.bar.bar ^
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.bar.gjb.gjb ^
bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb|bar.bar.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.bar.bar.bar ^
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.bar.bar.bar.bar ^
bar.bar.bar.bar.bar|bar.gjb.gjb.gjb.gjb/bar.bar.gjb.gjb.gjb

Can you help me figure out what Mr. Bar Gjb's real name is?

Hint 1:

13. Decaying.

Hint 2:

What's an anagram of here come dots?

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  • $\begingroup$ Is there supposed to be one more '^' or '<>' after the last line? $\endgroup$ – yuzuki Jul 6 '16 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ Yet another cipher with no context. $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Jul 6 '16 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps the word gibberish in the title means something? $\endgroup$ – RK01 Jul 6 '16 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe Hint 2 is an anagram for "the morse code"? $\endgroup$ – Axle Jul 6 '16 at 18:29
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    $\begingroup$ Shouldn't the fifth and tenth lines be the same? Or maybe I just want them to be the same, so that my answer fits better. :) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jul 6 '16 at 18:52
13
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The first hint...

... alludes to rot13 encoding, which converts bar and gjb to one and two. Confirmed by OP

The second hint...

... refers to Morse code. Confirmed by OP

The bar/gjb sequences are...

... organised in groups of five. In Morse code, the numerals all have five signals. Taking bar/one as dit and gjb/two as dah, the message reads:

1 / 9 | 5 | 5 ^
1 | 2 / 5 ^
5 | 1 / 2 ^
5 | 1 / 2 <>
5 | 1 / 3 ^
5 | 5 <>
1 | 9 | 2 / 5 ^
5 | 1 / 9 ^
1 | 2 / 5 | 3 | 8 ^
5 | 1 / 3 ^
1 | 2 / 5 ^
5 | 5 ^
5 | 1 / 2
Confirmed by OP

Each line...

... represents a letter. The caret denotes the end of a letter, the diamond denotes the end of a word. Confirmed by OP
As @yuzuki observed in a comment, the slash probably means that two adjacent digits are joined into a larger number. After joining the numbers and removing the end markers of the letters, we get:

19 | 5 | 5
1 | 25
5 | 12
5 | 12
5 | 13
5 | 5
1 | 9 | 25
5 | 19
1 | 25 | 3 | 8
5 | 13
1 | 25
5 | 5
5 | 12

The next step is...

... to convert the numbers to letters. The number represents the position of the letter in the alphabet, so 1 is A, 2 is B and so on:

see ay el el / em ee / aiy es aych em ay ee el

These are the letters as they are spelt when read out loud. (Although I'd have used ELL and AITCH.)

The sentence reads:

CALL ME ISHMAEL

which is the famous opening line from Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. So the author's name is Ishmael. (The name could also be Herman Melville, but nobody will know the famous quote if the book hasn't been published.)

Footnote:

I had found the answer without figuring out the second step, where series of numbers are treated as letters. It was enough to treat each individual sequence of numbers, say 5|12, as a letter in a monoalphabetic substitution cipher. Just finding that the caret and diamond are letter and word separators was enough to attack the monoalphabetic cipher.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thanks, both for the confirmations and corrections. 1/3 fits better with the rest of the patterns, where the smaller number is always left of the slash. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jul 7 '16 at 9:41
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    $\begingroup$ Observation: 5 | 1 / 9 --> 5 | 19 --> S (19th letter of the alphabet). Holds true for all number sequences that start with 5. $\endgroup$ – yuzuki Jul 7 '16 at 10:02
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    $\begingroup$ Just saw it XD quite a minor edit though, was surprised it warranted a comment. $\endgroup$ – yuzuki Jul 7 '16 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ @yuzuki: That was a brilliant observation! That means that the slash juxtaposes digits. The pattern 5 + letter code works because the 5 is in reality an e and the codes read EL, EM, ES and EE. I've updated the answer. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jul 7 '16 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ @MOehm Heh I think your subsequent observation was more incredible XD Congrats on solving the puzzle! $\endgroup$ – yuzuki Jul 7 '16 at 16:47

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