These examples use the minimal value for k, see A217490.
a(1) = 0 since A173419(1!) = 0.
a(2) = 1 since A173419(2!) = 1.
a(3) = 3 since A173419(3!) = 3.
a(4) = 4 since A173419(4!) = 4.
a(5) = 5 since A173419(2*5!) = 5.
a(6) = 6 since A173419(6!) = 6.
a(7) = 6 since A173419(13*7!) = 6.
a(8) = 7 since A173419(26*8!) = 7.
a(9) = 7 since A173419(11830*9!) = 7.
a(10) = 7 since A173419(1183*10!) = 7.
a(11) = 9 since A173419(11!) = 9.
a(12) = 9 since A173419(561*12!) = 9.
The 9 steps computation:
1, 2, 4, 8, 64, 65, 4160, 4158, 17297280, 299195895398400 = (3432 * 14!)
proves that a(13) = a(14) <= 9.
The 12 steps computation:
1, 2, 4, 16, 18, 324, 323, 104652, 10952041104, 10952041100, 119947204299897374400, 14387331819361319182380790372013775360000, 206995316880406686700094970538841597542096346999032300472917857600543129600000000
proves that a(23) <= 12, since the last number is:
23! * 8006931102170352452004696490160949546032818169320135140000
