communicating with ESP8266 ESP-1

I bought a 3.3V power supply specifically for this project.

I don't have a FTDI cable, so I am using the Arduino Uno and the IDE's Serial Monitor to talk to the ESP8266.

I am also using a level shifter board. TX is going to RX and RX is going to TX through the level shifter board.

When powered up, I get a bunch of odd charachters and then

Ai-Thinker Technology Co.,Ltd.

ready

The Serial Monitor is set at 115200 with CR.

Yet, I don't get a response to AT

My smartphone sees AI-THINKER_D1D543, so the module is alive.

I just can't talk to it.

What am I doing wrong?

EDIT

TX to TX
RX to RX
works (Serial Monitor shows text from ESP8266)

TX to RX
RX to TX
does not work