# Before light and beyond black

Before light and beyond black, the destination appears.
It exceeds water with vegetation comprised of leaves.
Next necessary operation is to begin an expedition.

Always, great figures come to cross first here.
Reaching there demands much attention to subsequent words.
Your hunting should continue past finding the six.

The first two letters have acrostics that spell out BINARY LENGTH.

I then noticed that

Each line has 8 words, perfect for translating binary to text. But how? Maybe we assign 0 to an even length (as $2n \equiv 0 \pmod 2, \forall n\in\mathbb{Z}$) and 1 for an odd word length (as $2n+1 \equiv 1 \pmod 2, \forall n\in\mathbb{Z}$).

Then

Considering each line, we get 01101111 = o. 01100100 = d. 01000100 = D. 01100110 = f. 01101001 = i. 01000111 = G. This gives us odD fiG.

If you then take the

Odd words (1,3,5,7)th words of every line, then you get Before and black destination It water vegetation of (01110100 -> t)
Next operation to an Always figures to first (01000101 -> E?)
Reaching demands attention subsequent Your should past the (01100001 -> a). This gives an answer of tEa, or tea.

We now explain the lines of the riddle, as requested by @Bennett.

TEA.

Before light and beyond black, the destination appears.

This is true of tea: most people add milk/cream to tea, and they prefer their tea somewhere between black (no milk) and light (all of the milk). This amount of milk (and the colour of the tea) is what is meant by destination.

It exceeds water with vegetation comprised of leaves.

Tea is just leaf water (just as coffee is bean water ;p). You add vegetation comprised of leaves to water in order to make tea.

Next necessary operation is to begin an expedition.

This line hints that the next few lines are hints on how to solve the puzzle.

Always, great figures come to cross first here.

Does this mean we have to convert the lines to 0 and 1's (great figures) first? Or does this mean that we have to look at the acrostic of the first two words of each sentence, which clues to BINARY LENGTH.

Reaching there demands much attention to subsequent words.

In order to get the answer, you need to convert every word in the line (not just the first couple which gave the acrostic, but subsequent ones as well) to binary lengths. (Then, convert the binary to text.)

Your hunting should continue past finding the six.

This refers to finding the six letters odD fiG, which was not the final answer but instead a clue describing how we ought to proceed.

A Final Word from the Author:

"Before light and beyond black" was meant to indicate tealight and black tea but your explanation worked as well. Line 4 points out the first acrostic ("cross first here") and something I'll come back to later. 5 points out the second acrostic. You were meant to find tEa by taking the odd FIGures (digits) of the binary string. I tried to draw this association in line 4 with "great figures ... cross first here", meaning that I was talking about binary figures.

Thanks for the insights and the great puzzle, Bennett!

• I've edited the question to improve formatting regarding the modulo mod parts. I've included parentheses with $\pmod$ but if you prefer no parentheses, you can write $\mod$ instead :) Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 10:48
• This is perfect, thanks @user477343! Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 11:16
• No problemo! :D Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 11:19
• Good hunting so far but as the last line indicates you are not done Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 12:08
• Yeah, I figured as much from the last line hahaha! Good puzzle! :D Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 12:17

Partial Thoughts:

The acrostic spells out Binary, maybe we need some sort of binary conversion to find the answer.
The acrostic for the second words spell out length, binary length maybe..
Hmm need more thoughts