I finally understood the problem by looking at other problems by the author. He is imagining an abstract pyramid made by square matrices of ones that descrease evenly until the top is reached. For instance a squared based pyramid of 19 would make height 10, because its layers are ones(19), ones(17), ones(15), ones(13), ones(11), ones(9), ones(7), ones(5), ones(3), ones(1).
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