Dear list, after a discussion on the texlive mailing list, I was directed to "upstream" ConTeXt garden. so bear with me. Following the canonical MetaPost manual (https://tug.org/docs/metapost/mpman.pdf), I amended the example file "conoscopy.mp" (from http://matagalatlante.org/nobre/down/featpost/MPexamples.html) with the initial line outputtemplate := "%j-%c.mps"; Running this through "mptopdf conoscopy.mp" fails with the error message MPtoPDF 1.4.1 : no filename matches conoscopy Karl Berry immediately found counter-examples for my initial tries to fix this (in the context (sic!) of TeX Live), but after some consideration I believe to have found a generic solution for "mptopdf[.pl]" that copes well with both the default output filename format of MetaPost and the alternative template above (and possibly others, as long as there's a "%c" part present). Attached is a modified version of TL's "mptopdf" that works well on MacTeX (Live 2019) for your consideration. After the internal MetaPost run, the intermediate logfile is scanned for the "output file(s) written:" message, from which the actual "@files" list is deduced. The (first) numerical part is replaced with "*" for the following file "glob"bing.