БЫЛОЕ, БЫЛЬ _|_ FORMER, PAST / BYILOE [bɨˈɫoɪ̯ə]

Hint with an alternative definition: the period of time that has already happened long ago; it is like the old & late years beyond the real present (or back of the real)

Hint with composition: been + while, last; be + ill

Hints with translation + consonant words (by sounds or letters): past is built, now is under construction, future is a cloud-castle / past is not able anymore, it is feeble, only now is strong/past ship has a bilge among billows, the future is ‘sails/past peel of being is bygones days / time’s playing billiards with Sun and moon, its cue is a clock hand = the past/alibi (where have you been) / past is like autumn with black & yellow leaves/bye-bye land — is a past/past is like a bill from a lawyer you have to pay now or in the future

Hints with a mirror: bil’ (past has no choices, no freedom) | lib’erty (freedom of opportunities = future)

Russian pro-tip: пыль + быть = быль

Bonus triple-hint: be + low = past, be + tough = present (быть, бытие), be + boost = future (будущее).

Mental visualization: Б (паук прошлого сидит на вертикальной стене — видны не все лапы) + ЫЛЬ (этот паук поймал бабочек надежд и поместил в коконы, прошлое как паутина)

 

БЫЛИНА _|_ PAST 

Hint: like a ballad/fable from a blind elder about heroes & outlanders (былина) or like a tale from the past