Would the Gust spell be able to move someone under the effect of the Levitate spell?

I am playing an air genasi storm sorcerer. Air genasi have the Mingle with the Wind racial trait, which lets them cast the levitate spell once per long rest (with no material components).

The description of the levitate spell says:

One creature or object of your choice that you can see within range rises vertically, up to 20 feet, and remains suspended there for the duration. The spell can levitate a target that weighs up to 500 pounds. An unwilling creature that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw is unaffected.

The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing. You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on your turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range.

The description of gust states:

You seize the air and compel it to create one of the following effects at a point you can see within range:

  • One Medium or smaller creature that you choose must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 5 feet away from you.

  • You create a small blast of air capable of moving one object that is neither held nor carried and that weighs no more than 5 pounds. The object is pushed up to 10 feet away from you. It isn’t pushed with enough force to cause damage.

  • You create a harmless sensory affect using air, such as causing leaves to rustle, wind to slam shutters shut, or your clothing to ripple in a breeze.

I wanted to use the gust cantrip to move myself 5 feet in a direction, but my GM said it wouldn’t work, as levitate only allows the target to move by physical means as the spell states, and I couldn’t cast gust to target myself anyways.

I didn’t argue at the time, but having reread the spells, I’m not sure why it wouldn’t work.

Is it possible to cast levitate on yourself, then use gust to move yourself 5 feet?

Can I use a Ring of Telekinesis to tie someone in ropes and then levitate them?

My character recently obtained a Ring of Telekinesis:

While wearing this ring, you can cast the Telekinesis spell at will, but you can target only Objects that aren’t being worn or carried.

I also happen to have some unbreakable rope. Since the Telekinesis spell allows me to

…exert fine control on Objects with your Telekinetic grip, such as manipulating a simple tool, opening a door or a container, stowing or retrieving an item from an open container, or pouring the contents from a vial

Could I use my action to wrap/tie an opponent in rope, and then move the rope into the air, dragging them along?

What happens when Catapult is cast on something that is under the effects of Levitate?

According to Catapult’s description, the spell is limited by the weight of the object with some variance based on the level in which the spell was cast. With the spell Levitate, could you interpret this to mean that an object under the effects of Levitate weighs effective 0 and then be subjected to the effects of Catapult?

Is Levitate supposed to basically disable a melee based enemy?

We are a group of new players and I feel that I miss some important properties of the levitate spell as it proved extremely powerful in the last encounter in Cragmaw Castle in The Lost Mine of Phandelver.

The party caused a alarm to ring which caused the entire final group, with bodyguards, to prepare an ambush when they stormed the last room.

managed to immediately down a player in the surprise round and after the rest of the enemies chucked away quite a bit of health as well it almost looked like it would become a full party wipe.

The wizard cast levitate on

(and it failed the saving throw) which effectively disabled it. Thanks to the 10 minute duration and the wizard carefully saying that it “should float riiiiiight in the middle of the room” (so it couldn’t grab any wall object to pull itself down) it wasn’t able to do anything during the entire rest of the fight. From my understanding it was not allowed to re-try the saving throw on its next turn. The other enemies were not able to break the wizards concentration either as she was hiding behind the rest of the party in a small doorway which blocked the enemies from reaching her.

I’m happy the party managed to survive the encounter, but feel that casting levitate on any melee-based enemy could quickly become a effective, but boring, strategy. Is there anything in the rules I missed?

Can a PC use the Levitate spell to avoid movement speed reduction from exhaustion?


Context

A warlock in the game that I run suffers from two levels of exhaustion:

Level 1: Disadvantage on ability checks

Level 2: Speed halved

This warlock knows the spell levitate. He is so tired—it’s a hangover from a very potent homebrew drug, named Flashberries—that he levitates himself slightly to alleviate his body by hovering instead of walking. Yesterday, instead of walking/floating around by himself, he held onto the shoulders of his ranger ally and let the ranger “pull” him forward (as the ranger walked at normal speed).

Ruling

When the players came up with this idea, I ruled that this method of movement is possible. Because the warlock is afloat, the spell doesn’t burden the ranger with extra carrying capacity while the warlock is not using his own movement, so both the ranger and warlock could now move at normal speed. The ranger effectively pulls forward a seemingly weightless person.

I thought it was quite the clever plan to avoid this part of his exhaustion, and I didn’t want to slow down gameplay by looking up the rules, so I ruled in favor of the party.

Research & Question

Now that I’m reading up on both the spell description and What form of movement is granted by Levitate cast on yourself?, I realize we might’ve misunderstood how levitate works. Zooming in on the relevant parts (emphasis mine):

The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing.

and

If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. 

So this makes me think that the answer to my question would be No, because the ranger is not a fixed object or surface. And since spells only do what they say they do, I’m more inclined to think that, by RAW, the ranger is unable to move the warlock at all. It also looks like the warlock is also not able to actually hover horizontally by using this spell (oops).

Could anyone give a clear yes or no to my question? And if either of my interpretations are incorrect, please explain why that is.

Is 20 feet the maximum altitude for the Levitate spell?

So in my current game, I am playing as an Air Genasi, which gives me access to the Levitate spell (emphasis mine):

One creature or object of your choice that you can see within range rises vertically, up to 20 feet, and remains suspended there for the Duration. The spell can levitate a target that weighs up to 500 pounds. An unwilling creature that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw is unaffected.

The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing. You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on Your Turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range.

However when I used it, we came to a bit of a clash in interpreting the rule. The way I read it, it says that I can move them 20 feet up or down on my turn. The way the GM read it however, was that it was to a maximum altitude of 20 feet.

Is there any official errata to clarify this?

Can levitate be used as a weapon?

One of my players suggested using the levitate spell as a weapon in our last session.

Following his logic, he’ll levitate an enemy 20 feet up and then slam it into a wall or the ground or keep pushing him up and then slam it for a “falling” damage of X feet.

I’m uncertain whether the spell can be used that way as the speed you move a target is not specified. If the levitate move action imprints an acceleration equal to gravity then the action can be considered an attack.

Can levitate be used on this way?