As far as I can tell, Northwest followed a brute-force-and-simplicity approach. They did not reroute our bags on the quickest possible path from wherever-they-were (probably Minneapolis) to Syracuse. They doggedly sent them to Cleveland, handed them to Continental, and then to Syracuse. On the one hand, I can admire this algorithm for its tendency to get the job done no matter what. On the other, it seems like there must be a better way. I'm also assuming the existence of a tracking system like the ones UPS and FedEx have in place where your package is scanned and recorded every time Something Happens. I kind of suspect that this is a mistake. The airlines certainly have fragments of such a system but I doubt it's as unified as it needs to be.
Anyway, we finally got our stuff. Wearing pajamas to bed instead of street clothes is a vastly underrated luxury.
We fly home tomorrow. Cross your fingers that it will all go smoothly.