During embryonic cell cycles, B-cyclin-CDKs function as the core component of an autonomous oscillator. Current models for the cell-cycle oscillator in nonembryonic cells are slightly more complex, incorporating multiple G1, S phase, and mitotic cyclin-CDK complexes. However, periodic events persist in yeast cells lacking all S phase and mitotic B-cyclin genes, challenging the assertion that cyclin-CDK complexes are essential for oscillations. These and other results led to the proposal that a network of sequentially activated transcription factors functions as an underlying cell-cycle oscillator. Here we examine the individual contributions of a transcription factor network and cyclin-CDKs to the maintenance of cell-cycle oscillations. Our findings suggest that while cyclin-CDKs are not required for oscillations, they do contribute to oscillation robustness. A model emerges in which cyclin expression (thereby, CDK activity) is entrained to an autonomous transcriptional oscillator. CDKs then modulate oscillator function and serve as effectors of the oscillator.