asstudents had to abandon their abortive attempt
May I ask what you mean by ironic?(ii) The vague possibility that it is a figure of speech (whose name eludes me) in which an adjective that is apparently inappropriate has, in fact, an ironic meaning. An example might be:
A man meets two strangers and is persuaded to accompany them. The reader/listener knows that the two men are murderers: "The two villains and the dead man walked out of the bar and into the night."