A wild goose chase

Also found in: Idioms.
Related to A wild goose chase: What's Sauce for the Goose
an attempt to accomplish something impossible or unlikely of attainment.

See also: Goose

References in periodicals archive ?
And they were also concerned they could be on a wild goose chase to rescue Harvey in time.
POLICE were led on a wild goose chase across Coventry after a "kidnapping" in a city park.
At the heart of the film - billed as fiction, though based on true accounts - lies the tragic story of Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor, ``Dirty Pretty Things'' and ``Inside Man'') and Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo, ``Hotel Rwanda''), a British couple whose lives unravel when their daughter disappears in the tsunami and they embark upon a wild goose chase to try to locate her.
A free map given out at Alnwick's tourist information centre is leading tourists on a wild goose chase, as the swimming pool and cricket ground are shown to be at sites they have not occupied for years.
We then proceeded to send him on a wild goose chase from Washington to LaGuardia Airport to East 76th Street in Garden City, Long Island, where we had told him he would find Bill, to East 76th Street in New York City, where Bill actually was.
He manages to send most of his rivals off on a wild goose chase, leaving him free to hunt at his own pace.
Eddie Hume sent us on a wild goose chase (briefly) due to the full-sleeve tats.
Simon Westland, filming the dig for a documentary, said: "This could be a wild goose chase or it could be amazing.
Finding the next two addresses turned out to be a wild goose chase.
But whereas the first novel dwelt on the troublesome stasis of life on the bum among the self-appointed wretched of the earth, More Bread or I'll Appear is a wild goose chase.
Our campaign addresses this very real frustration by likening it to a wild goose chase, a concept that our focus groups proved is immediately identifiable to most Net users.
Rather than support the Board of Airport Commissioners' Resolution for immediate local action, which the residents prefer, he asks the BOAC to support a time-consuming national effort which many believe is a wild goose chase.