Suppose you are running the Hierarchical clustering algorithm with 212 observations.
How many clusters will there be at the start of the algorithm?
How many clusters will there be at the end of the algorithm?
The Hierarchical clustering algorithm always starts with each data point in its own cluster, and ends with all data points in the same cluster. So there will be 212 clusters at the beginning of the algorithm, and 1 cluster at the end of the algorithm.