Try putting the editable field on a popover, access to which you can control with a script that runs with full access.
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In Manage Security, you can designate a field as modifiable for one privilege set and read only for another. This will apply to the field on every layout where you might place it so this is the most secure way to limit access to a field.
Layout based methods that limit limit access can be a good way to improve the user experience, but aren't nearly as secure as limits specified in Manage Security.